Summer - winter
Bees are active during spring and summer. They raise the brood and collect the honey and pollen they store for the winter. They also make wax and propolis.
When the temperature falls below 13°C (55°F), a winter cluster is formed. Bees gather in a tight ball in the middle of a hive to maintain the temperature they need. The queen does not lay eggs during the winter, so it is necessary to ensure that the colonies are strong (with a lot of bees) and have enough food to safely overcome the winter.
Sometimes bees get the urge for swarming. They raise a young queen who, with one part of the bees, remains in the hive, while the rest of the bees flies out with the old queen looking for a new home.
Sometimes during the summer, even three swarms can fly out of one hive, but in such cases, very few bees remain in the old hive, so the colony is often too weak and doomed to fail.
A swarm can be caught and put in a new hive. But swarming weakens the old colony because the number of bees in it reduces, so beekeepers prevent swarming whenever possible.
It's the time when honey plants are blooming, and bees bring the nectar from which they make honey.
Major honey flows vary from place to place and depend on honey plants that grow in your area. That's why it's best to ask a local beekeeper:
- which honey plants grow in your area and
- which are major honey flows in your area
Honey flow can be fast or slow
Fast honey flow - takes a certain number of days, for example, 10 days or two weeks. It is intense but doesn't last long. The number of days depends on the type of honey plant and weather conditions.
Slow honey flow - it lasts for a longer time, for example, two months or a whole summer, but it is not as intense as a fast honey flow. For example, meadow flowers bloom during the whole spring and summer.
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