Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 spring markers & honey cap


What feels odd about the first photo?  Maybe it's the expectation that the flowers are larger than bees - not in this case of this holly bush. Here's another prolific flowering tree in the neighborhood - Carolina Cherry Laurel appears in the second photo.

                       2009   2010   2011   2016   2017
                        day    day    day    day    day 
Bradford Pear            65     79     60            56
Carpenter Bees           68     87     72            63
Acer palmatum leaf out   73     92     77            64
Carolina Cherry Laurel   73     97     83            57
Pollen Count over 1000                        76     51  

The point of tracking these day-of-year values is to synchronize my beekeeping practices with spring weather.  The first step/acknowledgement is to admit that there is no such thing as an average year- we have never experienced an average year of weather.  My journal contains spring marker dates which sometimes appear in different months.  So, dates are converted to day-of-year to make the comparison between years easier.  I'm experimenting with comparing first pollen count over 1000.  Pollen count is easy to acquire, loosely correlates with temperature and maybe more objective than my journal notes.

I first saw Steve Page speak at Georgia Beekeepers Association in 2015 on the topic of Sustainable Beekeeping.   Do you want to learn more, sign-up for "It's Time To..." the free email mentoring of Coweta Sustainable Beekeeping.  As Steve is influenced by other beekeepers - so, I'm influenced by Steve and have adapted my beekeeping management which uses Kelly foundationless (F Style) frames.  Last Monday (day 65), I removed the bee cozy and checker-boarded the honey cap of my hives.  

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