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Will June Be A Banner Month?

So far this year, nothing has happened according to plan. I know full well that many things (with honey bees) do not go ‘to plan’, but I have never seen so many things go awry. I was unable to get out to the hives this past weekend, so I am looking forward to seeing them this weekend. So far, I have not seen a ‘general major flow’. Some hives have put on a few supers, but the majority (as of May 19) were working 1 or 1.5 supers. I simply have not seen a ‘general flow’ where everyone puts on the pounds. Maybe everyone is full up right now, but I sort of doubt it, given the wet week we had last week. Will June turn out to be the real banner month for honey? We’ll see…

And what about Nuc’s?! Good lord. I’ve never had it this tough. I honestly think I have killed more queens then I’ve sold (in Nuc’s.) Couple this with the fact that a ton of my Nuc’s did not successfully raise a queen, and I am really far behind on the Nuc schedule. I have taken to combining strong Nuc’s with Laying Worker Nuc’s. The queen right Nuc takes over the other one and goes to town laying in them and filling them up. This allows me to split them about 3 weeks later and make a solid Nuc out of them. I have never done this before (but, I’ve never had so many Nuc’s with laying workers.) Between the weather and my personal life, it’s been one heck of a rough Spring. I hope my last starts thrive in June and I can finally finish providing what I promised!

Finally, how about swarms? I do not go on all swarm calls, but I use them as a measure for what’s going on out there. I’ve received the fewest swarm calls in 3 years (and I really only started to take them 3 years ago.) Of those calls, none have been banner swarms (maybe one). They say a ‘swarm in June is worth a silver spoon’ – I assume it was in a year like this one. I haven’t seen many silver spoons so far. Maybe in June…

Finally, what about the hive problems!? I have already had 3 hives turn up with failed queens after a swarm. Two ended up with laying workers (again, family issues kept me away from the hives longer than I had expected.) Fortunately, I had a few Nuc’s to combine them with, but that just set the Nuc program back further.

The bottom line is that this has been a tough year for me. I blame it on this weather. We actually had a frost warning in May. I’ve been gardening for decades and have never heard of something like that.

At any rate, thought I’d whine a bit. It provides some relief….

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