Consider the climate this spring

Although it's spring in the southern hemisphere, unfortunately, this does not always assure that there will be enough forage for our bees...


Beekeepers know that year-to-year fluctuations in temperature and rainfall may impact which plants set flower, and when.

The timing of spring or summer nectar flows will largely depend on your location, what sort of winter you’ve had, and the type of spring and summer predicted.

Who would have thought that with becoming an apiarist, you’d need to learn how to weather forecast too!

If you’re not sure of your regional flower-forecast, make sure to speak with other local experienced beekeepers to gauge what the nectar flow predictions are.

With the changing climate, we need to consider how to ensure our bees thrive and survive through each season – spring and summer included, not just winter.

Here are some questions to help you consider how to care for your colony in our variable climate:

  • In addition to speaking to local beekeepers, who should be a wealth of locale-specific knowledge, you can also watch what your colony is storing.
  • Are they bringing back mostly pollen, or do you see the bees returning empty-handed (or empty pollen basketed ;-)?
  • What did your last brood inspection show?
  • Do your bees have lots of bee-bread and pollen, or are they honey-bound?
  • What’s the brood pattern like?

Most beekeepers will begin to notice the different blooms in their local proximity – what have you observed? Is there a nectar flow about? Or is there a dearth?


You might like to also consider the weather over winter, as the amount of rainfall will impact whether plants will flower abundantly in spring.

If you have had rain during spring (especially heavy rain), this might have knocked off all the new blooms, meaning a dearth might be on the horizon.

It’s important to look at the predictions for the coming summer – is it going to be hot and dry?

Feeding

If there is a dearth, with no foreseeable blooms in the future, you might need to consider supplementary feeding your colony – especially if the colony is still small. It’s not totally black and white, and you’ll want to consider the impact of feeding on colony size and maintenance, going into summer, and into autumn.


Read more about feeding your bees here. If it’s dry, don’t forget to put out water sources for your bees.

We do recommend chatting to local experienced beekeepers, as well as having a look at the Flow Community Forum, to crowdsource information. Experienced beekeepers will have invaluable knowledge gained over many seasons, and should be able to provide the most relevant information on beekeeping in your area.

Let us know how you and your colony go!

And as always – we’re here to help you every step of the way! Contact our customer support team today.