Weather from the Bee's Perspective
Visualizing Weather From a Bee’s Perspective
Below is an example of 3 years of hourly weather data put through my Bee Weather Analysis Tool. Notice the lack of the typical summer heating events. 2020 was a very tough summer on my colonies. It required me to monitor pollen levels (great quantities early in the summer season but very poor mid to late summer as the common forage sources require additional heat and solar energy (very overcast summer) that never materialized. Several of my colonies experienced very early brood shut downs that put the raising of winter bees at risk.
Hive Monitoring Data for the 2020 season in three different location.
Carcross is located next to several very large lakes that provide much longer frost free protection. It has more rain and things just grow better. It has natural pollen sources well into September.
Lewes Lake is an intermediate location with several small water bodies, large meadows (natural/mixed hay) and large south facing slopes (native grasses and vegetation). Natural pollen is available into early September.
Mt Lorne (Home Location) is what we would call native boreal forest with the odd small native meadow. The only disturbed soil is along the roads and at the widely distributed rural properties. There are no sources of non-native plants. Fireweed is typically that last significant source of pollen and nectar. We typically get our 1st major frost early to mid-August. I have developed my management activities to mitigated the lack of forage. Bee have been observed foraging significant amounts of plant rust spores (Fireweed/Willow/Rose Bush). During warm summers we will get very decent honeydew flows (spruce, deciduous tree/plants) .
Refer to Forage Page for more information.
Understanding your Nectar Flows Vs Weather
1. By increasing humidity, the secretion of water, but not that of sugar, from nectaries is increased.
2. Excessive water supply lessens the sugar surplus in the parts of the flower.
3. Dilution and washing by rain causes much of the sugar of nectar to be lost.
4. Rate of secretion for both sugar and water increases with temperature up to a certain optimum.
5. Accumulation of sugar in the flower and its vicinity varies inversely as the temperature.
6. The optimum condition for sugar secretion is an alternation of low and high temperatures.
7. Variation of atmospheric pressure has no marked influence on secretion.
8. Sugar excretion is markedly diminished in darkness on account of limitation of the food reserves of the plant. Water excretion may or may not continue, depending on the species. Removal of the leaves has the same deterrent effect.
9. The more favorable all conditions for growth and the more vigorous the plant, the greater is the amount of sugar secreted.
10. Nectar is most abundant early in the blooming season, other things being equal.
11. Accumulation and secretion of sugar is most pronounced near the time of the opening of the flower.