March – Some news from our beehive ! 🐝

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Every month we receive some news from the hive that we sponsor for the association “Un toit pour les abeilles(A Shelter for Bees).

Discover the March’s news :

What’s happening in the beehive?

Last year at this time, we talked about colonies starting to wake up…This year it seems a bit premature to talk about that. In mid-February, we predicted warmer temperatures for the end of the month. That was before the frigid Siberian air blew into France at the end of February and the first week of March. It caused temperatures to drop to between – 6 and -15°C in some regions in France.
Maximum temperatures reached between – 4 and 0°C. So it is best for the bees to stay warm inside for a little while more.
The long awaited warmer temperatures should come during the second week of March…
The problem with unpredictable weather is that the warmer temperatures right before the Moscow-Paris cold arrived, meant that colonies would soon wake up. The queen started laying eggs again and the bees have to maintain a higher temperature in the hive, between 20-25°C and up to 28°C. Repeated cold periods have harmed the colonies. Bees have to work harder to ventilate the hives to maintain high temperatures. They are becoming exhausted.
The cold also started earlier in autumn and lasted throughout the winter, keeping the bees from taking their cleanliness flight correctly – a flight that they take during the period and during which they eliminate waste accumulated in the hive. The cleanliness flight is essential, allowing to maintain helathy conditions for the colony.

That, added to high humidity and cold, has caused NOSEMA* which has been detected in some hives… It is too early to evaluate the extent yet, but already, some hives have not been able to resist.

Focus on… NOSEMA*

*Nosemosis is a disease that affects adult bees. It is caused by a microsporidian parasite that multiples in the cells of the intestinal lining of adult bees and is called, Nosema. This disease weakens the colony and causes more or less severe winter or spring depopulation (dead bees, walking on the ground or traces of diarrhea…).


This disease is linked to additional stress factors for bees. Among which are weather conditions with winters that are too long and particularly damp.
As well as heavy rainfall which cause some cases of Nosema. Being confined for too long can also be conducive to the disease. Finally, insecticides also favour the development of the fungus that ravages bee colonies…

As for the beekeeper…

In a few days, towards the 3rd week of March, and if the weather permits, the beekeeper will be able to open the hives. It’s a stressful time for our “bee shepherds” who have lived the winter without knowing what is going on in the hives. This visit will help the beekeeper to evaluate the condition of his colonies after the winter. He will know the percentage of bee mortality and especially how healthy the spring colonies are.

 

 

It’s time to plant if you want your little bees to have enough food in the spring…Here is a reminder in images of some of the best honey plants that bees love.

This is not a complete list. There are many other plants! Perennials, annuals as well as bushes. Ask your local nursery, they will be happy to inform you!
For those who can’t plant flowers, you can sponsor m² of wild meadows for the bees along with your sponsorship for the hive!