Beginner Beekeeper – Greece Spring and Summer 2016

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greece_spring_and_summer_2016_sm Great to get this update in April and then another in August and see the changes between these updates,

Update from Greece – Spring.

Email from Lorin and John in Greece, Apr 1, 2016
Hey you guys. We really look forward to your posts, for us beginners we find all the articles very interesting and informative. Also great to know what’s going on the other side of the world. Here we have had a fairly mild winter just a few cold spells but not below freezing. Spring has started fairly early, with Spring flowers out by February, so the girls have been fairly active. By early March on our inspection the numbers in the hive have risen and become very active. We also found an extra Queen cell also a few drones appearing. As I have said before I do a weekly count of bees returning, these have shot up to nearly 200 a minute from around 80 on both hives. The temperature is now rising with long sunny days and nectar flow is full on, they are coming home with huge baskets of pollen of all colours.
Greece Spring
Greece Spring
Apart from the mass of wild flowers they have been busy on lavender, aloe Vera, pear, quince, Iris, Rosemarie, almonds and bottlebrush trees. One of our big surprises was how they love the flowers of our left over broccoli flowers. We live right on the coast so this helps us with a more moderate and even climate.
wow what a view
wow what a view

Our next big test is having to split the hives very nervous about it, but I feel we will have to do it sooner than later. The feeling this year is that everything is much more advanced. Greece 2 hives We will do another inspection next week and evaluate it then. It seems strange as we enter a busy period of honey production you will be looking to prepare for the Winter. Hope all goes well with you and thanks for your support. Lorin and John.

Update from Greece – Summer.

Email from Lorin and John in Greece received, Aug 9, 2016
Hi Guys. It looks like we are in opposite extremes. You seem to be in a period of cold windy weather, while we on the other hand are in very hot dry weather. It has been very hot here for three months well over 30c. Everywhere is drying up quire badly now. Although normally this is quite a dormant time for the girls, none or very few flowering plants around. The buss from the locals this is the worst drought they have known. We bit the bullet and split one of our hives back in May. We were very nervous about it so much conflicting advice, so we decided to go by our own gut feeling. We took a few frames from the top and a few from the bottom and put them in a new hive close by, then kept our fingers crossed. We kept a very close eye on them on a Daily basis. Lorin fed all hives once a week with fondant, also a good water source adjacent to the hives. At first the original hive looked fine, the new hive was very slow and we got a bit worried, but over a month the new hive started to grow and looked full of bees. On the on the other hand the original hive got quieter, so our worry turned to that one. But over time this one has started belatedly to increase. On our inspection at the weekend it looked pretty busy inside, so we feel quite confident about this hive now. Our method may have been a bit unconventional but it looks to have worked. I do feel though if Lorin had not been so on the ball feeding them we may have been in trouble. Our other hive (we have three now)looks fine and found larvae there at the weekend, we are also feeding this one too.
Greece Apiary now 3 hives
Greece Apiary now 3 hives
We feel a great need to feed at the moment due to the lack of pollen. They seem to be drinking a lot of water. We are now looking to the sky’s for a hint of rain which will kick the ground into our second Spring and a perfusion of flowers. This properly won’t happen till September. As its been so hot one thing we have found has worked, we have kept the insulation we used in the winter on the roof. It has made a big difference to the hear of the hive as the tin roof can get very hot. For you I expect you have different problems at the moment, as you are in your winter. And as I see your weather looks pretty nasty as of late. Hope you are all ok and the weather is not causing you to many problems. Your Spring is not to far away now. I expect you are looking forward to brighter warmer days. One thing here though we the heat the swimming is fantastic. Well that’s out news. Thanks again for your great e- mails and articles, find them very Informative and keeps us in the link, they are greatly anticipated Lorin and John
Cheers to Lorin and John for giving us another great update – we hope their drought ends soon and the skies bless them with some rain soon, thanks for sharing guys. Regards, Margaret and Gary

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