Climate, weather, flow, bee activity in South Germany

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I decided to open this thread to talk about our local circumstances.

Hope you are interested and entertained.

Since I was a child climate changed to fewer snowfalls in winter and to cold spells in spring. We have more storms and thunderstorms and floods.
Temperatures are higher than before, in winter the average temperature is 0?C-5?C with some cold spells. The coldest spells are often in late february, this means snow or frost and  -10-15?C for two weeks. Summers are getting more hot, highest temp 2018 was 38?C for many days.

In may 2017 we had a cold spell which damaged all fruit tree blossoms and grape plants, so the farmers had not much of a harvest.
This year we had a great harvest.

We long to have some snow at christmas but it?s rare. We also long to see the sun, but it?s mostly grey, low and high fog for days. That?s because I live at the lake of constance and a small lake besides.
Much humidity.

Right now beekeepers have their first losses. We had much late fall flow which the bees used after feeding was completed, but the honey stores contain water or are not capped, so the hives are very wet inside as I heard.
I have one hive which is wet, some condensation water dripping down the sides and on the boards. Probably they still breed.

I use climate lids for the first time this winter and I wonder if it?s a good or bad idea. It?s always frightening to try something new. I use insulation on ten of my 15 hives first time too and will see if it?s an advantage or if they all starve because they are more active. I plan to do food checks earlier in spring because of this. I did it in march the last years, but they never starved without insulation.

Plus the bees bred until very late last fall which was bad for the mite situation ( I?m not speaking describing my situation, but of all, I?m the only tf around).
Some say there was a broodbrake in august, which might be because we had a drought. But later the bees bred again. My beed made not much of a broodbrake, they had enough stores and pollen was available.
So last week when it got a little frosty they all ran to drip oxalic, hoping for a broodbrake again.
I can?t do this, I?m tf, so I have to pray instead.  :wink:

It may be that I have high losses which have nothing to do with varroa mites. A woodpecker damaged my hives and maybe it et too many bees or disturbed the clusters too much.
We now repaired the damage and placed wire mesh around the hives.

So maybe some susceptibles survive barely and my more resistant are deadouts. 

It is good that you take notation for the variation of your weather from year to year.  If your loses are because of the weather/climate you can't manipulate it.  But if you can make a correlation between the weather and dead outs you can prepare by increasing your hive numbers to make up for the losses.  I know it is bad to say but it is better then praying.

Well, I like to pray and leave the outcome to the powers, mother earth in my case, god is creation and be have to submit. Whatever you want to pray to.

I can?t increase much, Ace, because I have to pay tax if I do, I?m considered a commercial then.
And I don?t want my beeyards to be crowded. I see that few hives are healthier, best is one hive at one place.

I believe I can manipulate and make my hive configuration to be more natural. I think this may buffer climate changes or weather caprioles a little bit.

It would be nice to learn from ferals. The ones i observe nest in old double made stone walls, very cold but very dry, entrance to the north and very small entrance. A lot of space, 5m high, diameter 2m.
We have no hollow trees for the bees to use.

But as a beekeeper I?m not able to make masonry and work such hives.  :wink:

Curses, no trees?  That in itself is hard times for the bees.  It would seem like people would have unusual trouble with swarms entering their houses.
Curiosity ... when do they do the hive counts to classify you as commercial?

blackforest beekeeper:
I don`t think our weather/climate kills colonies. That maybe in rougher places, like THP keeps bees in.


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