It’s been a lazy summer at the apiary and 40 degree heat is hot!
I felt sorry for all the bee’s working overtime to keep their hive temperature low. I had left the UK during the heatwave and let my apiary and bee’s do as they like for two weeks in July. Prior to this full inspections were carried out and extra supers placed on for expansion. Upon my return my garden was parched, all the flowers dried out and dead, I wondered what forage might have been available this summer and in future hot years to come.
Upon inspecting my hives a couple of weeks ago I discovered a variety of states of play. I discovered that between May and June four swarms had left my apiary, and was left with 3 queen less hives and 8 really strong hives, four 4 hives with good honey flow.
The extreme weather continues its relentless streak in August with 34 degree temperatures today and me having to resort to early feeding of 20 litres of syrup to my colonies in Leicester. Nothing was left of the wild flower garden and the ground was dry as a bone and everything had turned into tinderbox remains.
It’s been too hot for me to think about running any courses, and perhaps late in August I will see if anyone wants to attend my introduction to beekeeping training course.
There’s nothing we can do about the weather and the drought and chaos it brings to the environment, my bee’s and our food chain. All you can do to cool down hives by giving them empty supers, adding ventilation holes, spraying them with water or moving hives into the shade.