As I type this I look out on a frosty lawn. Yesterday I walked in the Wicklow mountains, in snow a foot deep on the mountaintop. When I checked on my bees last weekend, one colony (from seven) had almost died out, and two were low on stores and had to be fed. It’s been a cold, cold spring with Met Eireann reporting the coldest March on record in some parts, and ‘Dublin stations reporting around 60% of their long term average sunshine and their dullest Marchs since 1996’. Met.ie are currently forecasting more of the same for the next few days However, warmer weather should come by the middle of April according to the UK Met Office’s long term forecast. Of course, by the time you read this, sod’s law says the forecasts will have changed completely!
So our beekeeping season starts late this year. We will have to do our best to get our colonies built up as quickly as we can.
Here in our association we have our final spring lecture on Monday coming – Eoin McGiolla Coda will talk on the important topic of swarm prevention & control. Our beginners’ course has moved out of the classroom and out into the apiary for hands-on teaching, and a number of our beginners have signed up to sit the FIBKA preliminary exam in April. The beekeepers are all ready to start the season – all we need is some seasonal weather!