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Another Casualty and Delays

The weather has really been dealing my Nuc building plans a blow. Although we occasionally get a warm day, it always seems to be shortly followed by several very cold days. Typically, I like to have a week with the temperatures in the mid- to upper 50’s (something that is not at all unusual this time of year, typically.) They’re actually calling for temperatures to dip into the 20’s later this week, for several days. The problem is that this is not a ‘one off’. We continue to have mostly cold and/or wet weather.

For my Nuc Program, this is problematic. I started several Nuc’s in February last year, due to the expectation of a week of good weather. I’ve not had an expectation of a day or two of good weather this whole month. I’ve created a few test Nuc’s off of really strong hives, but the primary program is really getting delayed. I also believe this weather has my bees in a slow build-up pattern. I have a few exceptions that are turning it on, but the vast majority are coming out of Winter very slowly.

It’s not the end of the world, but I usually expect to turn over a bunch of Nuc’s in April (the ones that I start in early/mid-March or before.) This year, I doubt I will even have a Nuc ready in April. The hives seem to be doing fine, but everything is simply getting pushed back. I’ll be interested to find out what some of my colleagues are up to.

I also ran across another dead out. This hive was actually very strong in January. They did not run out of food, although I did see where some robbing had started. I also only found around 80 bees on the bottom board. Clearly, the ones that died did so because of a small cluster (couldn’t keep things warm enough.) This was a yellow queen… At any rate, I am running about a 7% loss at the moment (3 hives lost, 40 fully reviewed in March so far).

The only positive note are the overwintered Nuc’s. I am quite certain that one or all of them will swarm by the end of the month (and they may already be making plans for it.) When I want to feel good, I go check on them! I hope to create a few Nucs off of them next weekend, before dropping them into full Deeps. They are currently sitting in 1 Deep, under 1 Medium. All of them have just about filled the Deep (as of last weekend anyway) – I’m hoping to find them well into the Medium Nuc this coming weekend and split them off.

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