With the Met Office having issued a snow warning for parts of the south-west and the high grounds of Devon, it's a worrying time as the long cold snap continues preventing the bees from breaking out of their winter cluster to head out to forage. They have had so little flying days this year and here we are with April knocking on the door in a couple of days.
This time last year I only had one colony and the bees were flying. Looking back at my records, I had already done an inspection and added supers to give them space while the colony expanded. There doesn't look as if there's going to be a break in this weather for at least another couple of weeks. How long will the winter bees live? Will the queens be laying in the three colonies I now have at the apiary? I've seen pollen being brought back on the odd days suggesting that they are, but will there be enough bees to replace the winter bees?
I am beginning to worry as I hear more beekeepers reporting losses. All I can do is keep up my regular visits to the apiary to check on stores. All seem light now and so I'm feeding them sufficient fondant to last until my next visit to check.
The image used has been published under the terms of a Creative Commons License and is attributed to Jenifer Tucker.