Are you coming in or staying out? I can recall my mother asking this question in not so patient tones as my brother and I never seemed to be able to decide to play inside or outside. That ancient memory popped into my head today while mountain biking and thinking about my bees as cold raindrops creased my face. How is this memory and honeybees related you ask? Well it’s the way I feel about the start of beekeeping season this spring of 2012.
In mid-March we enjoyed a glorious week of tantalizing weather. It was sunny and warm with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees during the day. What an opportunity to get out, inspect hives, feed bees, and hope in a good year to come. Well that changed and it became cold again. But wait, in mid-April it warmed up again. This time I really believed the cherished beekeeping weather was here to stay. I was out reversing hives, equalizing frames, removing feeders; cleaning deadouts… oh it was glorious. Heck, we even moved up the first Intervale Workshop by a week thinking the fine weather was here to stay. Well here we are now nearing the end of April and it is freaking cold! Seriously, the forecast calls for possible snow towards the end of the week. I’m not the type to open hives when the weather is like this. I know there are some of you out there who will but I tend to be cautious in these conditions. As I look out my window I see the apples are blossoming. Yet it is 48 degrees. Sigh….will the bees’ even get a chance at the apple blossoms this year? I know the orchard owner hopes so.
So as I sit here watching the weather and wondering what the future holds I can’t help but think of my mother’s statement and applying it to this climate….. Hey warm weather, are you coming in or staying out?