La Nina and its effects on bees

Being part of a beekeeping business certainly opens my eyes to natural events that I most likely would not have thought to, to be honest. 

2022’s wet season was fantastic to experience from a beekeeping perspective in the ACT and NSW. The constant rain for weeks on end, followed by short spurts of sun, didn’t provide the humble bee much time to gather nectar and pollen.  

Peter explained that plants need around 2-3 days to regenerate the nectar and pollen in the flowers for the bees to consume. With the rain cycling every second day, the flowers could not produce nectar and pollen quickly enough before both were washed away. This started me thinking about how the bees were coping and if they were struggling to keep the hive fed. 

Another thought came to me – when we undertake our annual extraction of premium Summertime honey how would the bees have faired through the wet season? Our rule of thumb is to only extract what is needed to ensure the hives stay healthy and strong, yet would be able to apply that approach this time around? Time will tell. 

I have included two delightful photographs of ours here. The first photograph above, shows the rich contrasts of the white and pink blossom against the green foliage from the recent heavy rains, coupled with a happy bee foraging, filling the ‘saddlebags’, pollen basket or corbiculae on her hind legs. 

The second photograph, below, is of the canola fields over the ridge from one of our apiaries – a classic farm image of contrasting colours and objects.


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