Thursday, September 6, 2012

rain and sun

Last fall we had rain that caused the bees to eat their winter stores by the end of October. It rained so frequently and so hard the honeybees could not leave the hive for gathering fall pollen. Honeybees need sunshine and blue skies to be able to work: other varieties of bees are up earlier, in bad weather and in cooler temperatures than the honeybee.

Lots of things are blooming now. I'm a fall allergy sufferer, so I know for certain there is something out there producing plenty of pollen!

The best weather for the farmer, the garden and the bees in fall is when it rains a bit everyday and the sun shines every day. A bit of each causes seeds to germinate, flowers to bloom, pollen to be collected, vegetables to be made, honey to be formed in the hives.

As the daylight changes and the temperatures change the honeybee colony changes. There are few bees to go out and forage in the dead of winter instead the bees are focused on keeping the queen alive through the winter.

Many things (squash, marigolds and cosmos among them) continue to bloom on the farm. Soon asters will replace the goldenrod and ragweed. And with a mix of sun and rain the honeybees can save more honey for the winter hive and not have to consume it early. The next 6-8 weeks will tell.

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