Spring Will Soon Be Here
With Spring right around the corner I thought it would be a good time to share how things are going here at Werning Apiaries here in Sullivan Wisconsin. The Honey Bees took a hit this winter. We are at a 25% survival at the moment. This is a 360 from this time last season when we had a 100% winter survival. I am sure several of you have seen the recent posts on facebook being shared about Wisconsin Honey Bees taking major hit this winter. It can be hard sometimes but we have to always plan for the worst and hope for the best. We never stop learning from the Bees. We inspect and investigate what we can and take what we learn and try to do what we can to help in the future years. Last summer and early fall the bees were in a dearth. Dearth is when there is not an abundant amount of nectar in the flowering plants for the bees to collect. When this happens the queen will greatly reduce the amount of eggs she is laying because she senses no nectar being brought in. Her instinct will tell her to slow down because the workforce is not needed. So with that happening there was not as many young bees in the hives going in to winter. It is important to have abundant young bees to survive the long stretch from November till spring. Brood rearing is essentially done by mid October and normally resumes in February. that is when the hive begins to grow in size again. Essentially the bees did not have enough young bees to maintain a large enough winter cluster that would allow them to survive the cold stretches. The varroa mite was not an issue for the bees as the hives had been monitored by doing mite counts from august till November and we were not at a level that was of concern for hive health. However several beekeepers are seeing losses to the mites this winter. Upon inspecting our hives as we cleaned the dead bees out we saw little to no sign of mites. Today I inspected our surviving hives making sure they have enough honey till things begin to bloom. They are looking good. We have replacement bees ordered to arrive the first weekend in April and are excited for the new season to begin. We will take what we learned from this winter and monitor nutrition requirements in the late summer and fall months so we hopefully will have a stronger winter survival in 2018-2019. Thanks to all of our loyal customers for choosing us as your source for local pure raw unfiltered honey. Hope you all have a Happy Easter.