It is important for a beekeeper to be aware of the seasonal cycles of beekeeping. The activity of honeybees differs each season. Seasonal change in weather pattern affects the flowering of plants and nectar flow. Let us take a closer look at the honeybees’ activities during the four seasons.
In winter months, the usual temperature is too cold for bees to take flight. But there will always be a day in about two weeks when the temperature gets warm and the bees will take cleansing flights. Because of the cold temperature, honeybees inside the hive cluster in order to produce heat. This is process is called ‘shivering’.
In spring, the weather gets really unstable. There are more days of sunshine though and more pollen and nectar is available inside the beehive. Bees start brood rearing and they will use sufficient amount of fresh pollen and nectar. In early spring, their population will grow rapidly and swarming might happen.
When the weather gets hot and dry, the bees usually stay outside the hive. However, they don’t normally gather nectar during this summer. Instead, some foragers gather water and put them on the combs to cool the hive. The brood slows down during summer but the population is still high.
The weather starts to change from hot to mild and the bees would need help in storing honey. There should be enough fall honey flow for winter and even more. Bees are busiest in collecting nectar during fall. They will move the honey and organize it for the coming winter.
Of course, each season the bees have different activities and their behaviors change. A beekeeper has various jobs to do as well. Let us find out the tasks a beekeeper must do in different bee seasons.