Free returns on all items + Free shipping on orders over $350

How does weather affect a honey bee colony?

June 22, 2022

How does weather affect a honey bee colony?

During the spring time in the prairies and BC the weather can fluctuate a lot. One day you can feel the summer heat coming and then you get stretches of wet and cool weather. The fluctuating temperatures can affect a honey bee colony in many different ways. 

Rainy and cool weather

In the spring we can get a lot of rain. Rain keeps honey bees inside the hive so they do less foraging. Although, bees can still fly during light showers, but not in heavy rain. Spring feeding is important during the spring because of times of dearth and when the weather doesn't permit the honey bees to forage.

  • It can slow down the tree and shrub development which means later blooms for most flowering shrubs and fruit bearing trees. This means less nectar and pollen sources for the bees to bring in.
  • Continuous showers and heavy rain wash away pollen and flowers need different amounts of heat to produce nectar. This can mean there is little for the bees to forage until it replenishes.
  • Increased humidity and dampness, can increase the chance of mold developing inside the hive if there isn't proper ventilation.
Tip: If stormy, windy weather is in the forecast, your hives should be secured so they don't topple over. Heavy rocks can be used on top of a hive cover to provide weight. If there are high winds, you can use straps to secure boxes together. 

 

Hot and dry weather

We all love hot summers, but too much heat can mean different things for our bees. Heat affects crops, water sources and so much more that affect honey bee colonies. Hot weather can affect colonies by:

  • reducing the amount of  water sources during periods of extreme heat. This is when beekeepers need to make sure there’s plenty of water sources nearby for the hive for the bees to access.
  • You might see bearding on the hive! And this is okay. It's not to be confused with swarming. The bees collect on the outside of the hive to increase air flow and control the temperature inside the hive to make sure they do not overheat the brood.
  • Heat can make your bees a bit cranky and they may become more aggressive.
  • This can also attract unwanted pests that are also hungry looking to either eat the bees or the nectar the bees are working so hard to produce

Tip: Screened bottom boards can be helpful to make sure there is enough airflow going through the hive

 

 




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Education

Where can you buy beekeeping supplies?
Where can you buy beekeeping supplies?

May 13, 2022

This is something no beekeeper can go without. It makes our life easier to do hive checks and make sure that both beekeeper and hive are as calm as possible. A reliable smoker, like the Hiveworld Global Smoker, can last you for years if maintained properly. 

Continue Reading

Where do Canadian beekeepers get spring bees?
Where do Canadian beekeepers get spring bees?

April 15, 2022

There are many factors that can make or break the arrival of honey bees to Canada. Factors like how the beekeeping season is progressing overseas, the weather, flight availability and government requirements can affect the timing of the bees' arrival. Honey bees are considered livestock and need to meet a lot of requirement before they depart and arrive in Canada.

Continue Reading

Inside Your Spring Hive
Inside Your Spring Hive

March 15, 2022

If you are a beginner beekeeper, knowing if there are enough honey stores can be hard to figure out on your very first overwintered hive check. The simplest way to check if there are enough stores is to gently lift your hive from the bottom board (without disturbing the hive too much). If it is very light and easy to lift, you DO NOT have enough stores.

Continue Reading