The Reluctant Spring of 2023

Keeping bees can be an adventure. This years “reluctant” spring has been a challenge. Usually by mid-April we have to split strong colonies or risk colony swarming. This year there were no reports of swarms by mid-April and beekeepers have reported only a few colonies that might be split. In truth early splits this year might mean poor mating of the virgin queens that the queenless split would need to prosper into summer without intervention. On the bright side our early PNWHoneyBee Survey returns are showing lower overwintering losses! Do keep in mind however that with our “reluctant” spring we risk having colonies run out of honey stores. As was the case last year, many beekeepers report adding more sugar candy or fondant candy cakes to their colonies for the last beekeeping season. Reminder – the PNW and BIP annual colony surveys are open until end of month. If you haven’t completed a survey please do so before May 1st.

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