Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Coming or going?

Well, the weather's gone completely topsy-turvy.  It was a gorgeous day here as stable high pressure sits over north-western Europe.  It's forecast to stay like this for a good while.

I was looking to top-up the bees' feeder during the still, late afternoon sun.  Again lots of pollen coming in and thankfully no sign of further bee deaths near the hive.  I didn't want to disrupt anything under the crownboard so it was a quick in-and-out.  The hive's in a corner of the garden so it's very convenient for this type of feeding. I added a couple of super foundation frames too - I just want them to draw out the comb ready for next year. [I'm not interested in honey at this stage].

It strikes me though that the bees' internal "clocks" must be so confused - something akin to "seasonal" jet-lag.   The sun crossed through its solstice position as the rain poured and the gales blew.  [It's the third summer in a row that's happened!]  As the nights lengthen and the leaves on the trees turn, suddenly there is this "unseasonal" spell.  It was probably in the mid 20's in the full sunshine sheltered as the hive is.  The problem is that the nights are really quite cool ~ maybe 5 or 6 Celsius.  It got me thinking about global warming etc. It raises lots of questions about the way that nature will react to these changes.  We all know the importance of the honeybee and their poor predicament.  I'm convinced they don't need this stress too!!


Lynn said...

Hi Cliff. I had to look for a quick Fahrenheit to Celsius converter to figure out your temps. Your nighttime temps have been very similar to mine recently. The days are gorgeous, though, and my bees are also bringing in some pollen although I can see a decrease in the last week.

My girls get the final inspection and sugar shake this weekend. I'm doing mite count now and so far don't see very many at all. Good news! That's certainly another stress the bees don't need.

I'll be interested to see if your bees draw out anymore comb. Mine stopped about 2 weeks ago.

Kat said...

I love the second sentence in the second paragraph! How poetic.

Ngaio said...

I don`t think there have been many days during winter that my bees haven`t flown and brought pollen home. Our winters are not as cold as they have been, with summer wetter then usual. Spring is just gorgeous with the right mixture of warm and cool days.Parts of NZ do get real cold and snow, in the South Is, are we not original naming the 2 main islands north and south ?, sorry, I digress,the temps get down to minus 10 with lots of ice - they do grow amazing fruit there, especially apricotes.

Beegirl said...

Hi Cliff! I hope you enjoy AVM as much as I have! It's really got my wheels spinning. Hope your bees are weathering well. Things are starting to get cool here too. I am not ready for winter yet..!!

PhilipH said...

Good to hear that you've noticed no more dead bees. It's been a very wet few weeks in Scotland and today's sunshine is a real bonus. Tomorrow looks good too.

The evenings and nights are quite chilly but I guess that's to be expected as we amble thru September.