Will the spring of 2019 ever start? The photo above was taken during the long hot summer of 2018.
10 April 2019
On 29 February, it was 10°C and sunny and bees from all four colonies were out for their first ‘cleansing flight’ – a lot earlier than we’ve ever observed before.
A cleansing flight is the polite term for a pooping flight. It’s usually noticeable when the bees have been stuck in the hive for a while (in Sweden, this can mean 5 to 6 months in the winter), all that time holding in it. Then a warm day comes along and they rush outside to let it all out as quick as they can. Honey bees never willingly defecate inside their hive.
But that early start to the spring was just to fool us all. Today, on 10 April, it’s just 1°C and we’re worried that the bees will run out of food. We weighed the hives a couple of weeks ago and they all seemed fine, but the weather has been so cold that they may need a top up – all we can give them at this time of year is sugar water though.