-Posted by Isaac
I'm so disgusted with this weather.
About a month ago, we had a teaser. A few warm days in February right about the time the maples bloomed. The bees got to work. And so did we.
Pulling that heavy load. Feeding and watching, hoping to coax our girls into spring. It's hard work going from yard to yard, sloshing through the mud with a protein laden wheelbarrow. But it only lasts a week or two, right? The warmth and growth and pollen will soon arrive. Right?
Not this year. No relief. If it's not cold, it's wet. If it's not wet, it's windy. In at least a month, the bees haven't had a taste of real pollen. It's disgusting. Tomorrow is April 1st. And the beekeepers are the fools. I guess that's what I get for being naively hopeful. I have now pushed our queen schedules and nuc schedules back two full weeks. And that's crossing my fingers, pressing my luck. Looking at the hives, I think we're at least three weeks behind last year.
Well almost everything is behind. Of the 500 queens now pushed back, I took a gamble and kept 20 coming this way. So early this week I made splits. In the rain.
It was probably a stupid gamble, but I couldn't help myself.
Maybe we'll talk splits next week. For now, I just feel like complaining. I was by myself the majority of the week... bucking a wheelbarrow through the mud, at times in a downpour. Disgusted. The girls are hungry and hive bound. We can't just let them starve. Not now. Not at the very cusp of spring.
My family left me.
There's some kind of bunny worshipping holiday coming up, and Aunt Becky came over to teach our kids the prescribed rituals.
They were out of school three days for this sacrilege. It was truly blasphemous.
After the fun with Aunt Becky, off to far Grandma's they went.
Me? I stayed behind to feed bees. In the rain. Anyway, I wanted no part of their pagan holiday.
Got another song for you. Feeling sorry for myself, this popped into my head on Wednesday and stayed there for the next three days.
For this particular week, it was that line about rain that seemed to fit the bill. I learned this song years ago during a rough patch, and to my amazement the whole thing was still in my head, more or less unblemished. So this week, many a beehive got to enjoy my version of the Chris Isaak therapy.
I don't know if it helped anything, but the memories sure poured past. I worked from morning to night. No family to come home to, what else was I going to do? My own gods demanded reverence.
By Friday the sun began to show itself. And by noon today we had about five minutes when the temperature finally crested 50 degrees and all was calm. The bees shot out to taste some deadnettle. Did they have an hour? Maybe two?
By this afternoon, when I went back Grandma's long lane to get the kids, the forsythia was whipping in the wind. I've been told that the end of winter can be reliably predicted by what that plant does or doesn't do. But I've been told a lot of things. Preachers, teachers, farmers and beekeepers... I've been told a lot of things.
And now I wonder.