Chrisbarlow wrote: ↑
10 Jan 2021, 18:06
Cricket Mick. Hawthorne already! R u Manchester based?
Ha, no, Teesside. I have taken very good notice of the local forage since I started beekeeping 8 years ago. My first winter the Hazel flowered late Jan early Feb, I actually had an argument with my Basic assessor when I refused to consider it a Spring source of pollen. Each year since it has progressively flowered earlier. This winter it was in flower week before Christmas. Now the Hawthorn is starting to flower much earlier. Although it is very far from being in true flower I can't see it making it past March before it is. The Hazel and Alder is more or less in full flower now but has been destroyed by the frosts in the last 2 weeks. Its a local thing. We get very mild winters here but that is followed by freezing springs. Last May 2nd week we had the coldest night I had recorded for 29 months. My bees make all their honey in a 6-8 week period between late April and early June depending on the winds. One thing I have found being a regular at our local honey shows is that I never now get any honey capable of winning in the light honey class. My spring honey is now very dark, however it tends to win the blind taste test
The bees must be visiting completely different plants to what they were 4 or 5 years ago. I think thats because they don't get chance to forage on the traditional spring plants, they flower too early now. Local snowdrops are starting to fall over and Daffs almost in flower. Warm winters, cold springs and wet summer = TEESSIDE....