Weather Forecast


The Beehive: Temperature fluctuations present challenge for bees

Brett Kent

Welcome back to the Beehive. Well, is it me, or has the weather been a little unusual this spring? We go from a high temperature record-setting month of March, to a snowing, rain filled, cold month of April. Wow, who could have predicted this? These recent temperature fluctuations present real challenges for the bees. I will explain what the bees are going through.

Remember back in March, I wrote that I was seeing the bees coming back to the hives with pollen on their legs. Then I explained that this is a signal to the queen to start increasing the egg production. Well, they got the message and the egg laying has begun in earnest. Then the colder month of April comes along and the bees need to keep the eggs and brood at 90 degrees, to prevent them from dying. This is very hard on the hive as the bees expend a lot of energy keeping themselves and the brood warm. The bees will not leave the brood exposed. If they have to, they will die trying to keep the brood at the proper temperature.

Sounds like the weather is going to straighten out this week. We have received some much-needed moisture and warmer weather is on the way. With the warmer weather, the dandelions are about to burst. If you are a honeybee, that is like going to the afternoon buffet. Things are looking up.

I am expecting the delivery of my new queens towards the end of this week. Then the beekeeping operation moves into high gear. I will be requeening the hives and making splits. I will explain how this is done next time.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I would be helping Joanne Sabin with the presentation of an advanced beekeeping class, which will be held at the Faith Baptist Church, Hwy 71 South, on April 28. If you would like to attend, contact Sally Shearer at the Hubbard County Extension office in Park Rapids. As always, thanks for your interest.