If it's below 50 degrees, they stay indoors in a cluster around the queen, covering the brood (baby bees) to keep them warm. If it's raining, they stay indoors, crowded together, getting very testy. If you've ever tried to work a hive just before a rainstorm, it isn't pretty. They have one thing on their little bee brains--using their stingers to get you out of their house! And of course if it's too cold the flowers won't bloom, and if it's too rainy the bees can't get to the flowers if they do bloom!
So today, the forecast says it will be mostly sunny, warm and dry. Should be a good day for the bees to gather nectar from the spring blooms, right? Well maybe. High winds are expected this afternoon, and that will leave the bees stuck indoors lest their little bodies get blown about. For them, flying off the landing boards on a windy day would be like us stepping off our front porch into a tornado! So the bees need warm, dry, and relatively CALM days so they can work the spring blooms and bring in the nectar that makes the honey crop.
We've had a cool, wet and windy spring! This week's hive check showed me that the bees are ready and able to bring in the bloom. Like us they're raring to get out there and enjoy some nice weather! After all my winter worry, I know spring truly does come. And I know that the bees, if they have survived the winter as these have, always make honey eventually. And what does all my weather worrying and watching change? Nada. But tomorrow I will rise, make coffee, and check the forecast.