Changeable weather can affect colony

February 04, 2019

Changeable weather can affect colony

Despite the polar vortex that has embraced much of Canada this month, some bees may have experienced warm weather spells since January 1 and this could have triggered them to initiate a small brood nest.

For Alberta this could be especially true south of Red Deer, in chinook territory. The thing to know is that when it gets cold again, the bee cluster will contract to keep the queen warm - at the expense of the brood.

Also - the bees age much more quickly in the hive once brood-rearing begins. This is a common cause of winter loss that's often mistaken for starvation.

If you find you have lost your bees when the weather warms, look at the comb for a ring or patches of capped cells in the cluster area.  This is a sign of premature brood rearing.

In terms of a remedy, consider using a queen strain that is better suited or acclimatized for your climate.

If you have any questions on this or other issues, please contact at any time.

Leave a comment

Also in News

Watch weather before adding pollen patties
Bees dead or alive: What you should do now

March 28, 2019 3 Comments

Your spring hive check might find a flourishing colony, or a bunch of lifeless frames. Either way - here's what to do next.

Continue Reading

Pussy willows a great food source - weather permitting
It's getting warm! Do we need to feed pollen?

March 27, 2019

Catkins are coming!  Do we really need to add pollen patties to our hives? Yes we do, until the weather is reliable warmer and drier.

Continue Reading

Why do we keep bees?
Why do we keep bees?

March 06, 2019 2 Comments

Why would Canadians, many of them living in an urbanized environment, want to get into beekeeping - essentially a complex form of animal husbandry that takes vigilance, knowledge and a good back?

Continue Reading