This season, rather than numbering the hives I decided give each one a name. Ailbhe and Roisín are now named members of the ATC Team !!!
Incidentally, they were given female names as all the ‘Worker Bees’ in the hive are female (Males or “Drone Bees” are only present from Spring through Autumn, their sole purpose being to fertilise queens )
Both hives over-wintered well. Thanks in part to one of the hottest Februarys on record, the queens produced an abundance of new worker bees to forage for pollen & nectar.
Conversely, March was the wettest on record in Dublin since 1947. Thus, the bees were kept in their hives unable to leave and forage from the multitude of dandelions erupting from the round-abouts & roadsides around Baldonnell.
April presented a mixed bag weatherwise with a mixture of cold and warm days. Thanks to, and with the assistance of gentlemen in ATC, netting was successfully erected on the perimeter railing at the back of the building. This better enabled the bees to get to a higher altitude sooner and avoid any unintended interactions with people.
Towards the end of the month the Hawthorn, Horse-Chestnut & Sycamore came into bloom. Thanks to warm weather the bees were out and about and Ailbhe went into swarm mode.
May was calm & warm bringing the first new queen of the season. Roisín was moved off-site temporarily but will return in the Autumn. There was plentiful supply of nectar & pollen and the bees were busy, busy, busy.
This is where the season ceased……. June saw very hot & dry with little or no forage for the bees. The ‘June Gap’ lived up to it’s name.
July was the wettest on record and yet again the bees were confined to quarters !!!
Honey gathered in May provided a food source for the bees.
August was marked by above average rainfall and storms Antoni & Betty. For another month the bees had limited flying time.
So what will this year’s honey harvest be like ?
Check -in late October for pictures and a full update of the harvest….