Can you believe it, a week of warm sunny days! What a relief that winter of seemingly endless cold rainy days is finally over. According to the calendar spring came on Wednesday, March 20, at 2:58 PM. but according to my thermometer it came in this past week. The real sign of spring to us beekeepers is the increasing reports of swarming. Everywhere I look there is an abundance of forage for our bees, its no wonder colonies are blowing up everywhere. In spite of that I understand there may be a shortage of bees or queens for sale this year so if you need either I hope you already bought yours or you have your order in with someone.
If you have a chance to be around a swarming colony its really quite exciting. You hear this loud buzz and walk out to see the air filled with a swirling mass of bees. Though it’s a bit unnerving you can walk right into the middle of them as they are just looking for a new home and have no interest in you at all. They rise up into the air like a tornado of bees and if you’re lucky the queen lands on a low branch nearby. The tornado shrinks as the bees slowly cluster around her leaving just a few hundred scouts looking for a place to live.
Don't forget the California Honey Festival is Saturday May 4th from 10:00 am to 5:00pm in Downtown Woodland California. The schedule is packed with events and I'm sure there will be plenty of vendors as well.
Jerry Van Heeringen