Beekeeping and the weather

I am becoming aware that keeping bees and being employed in a conventional job are not very compatible. In an ideal bee keeping world my job would be more weather dependant. In the event the weather is crummy I would go to work. If the weather is nice and bees need working I would be working bees.

Super removal required a ladder at two of the hive sites this year.

Last Friday demonstrated this point to me perfectly. I had been watching the weather all week hoping to get all supers pulled prior to the arrival of what used to be Hurricane Isaac. The Weather Liars had all forecast that the rain would arrive on Saturday, because Isaac was such a slow moving storm. I wish that my accuracy as a pharmacist only needed to be on par with weather forecasters.

Every once in a while I would get a peek out the window. Things were looking good.  Perhaps the weather had been predicted correctly. I was relatively calm about the prospects of getting the final 7 supers of honey pulled after work. Then I heard a fellow employee walking past my office telling another, “it sure looks like rain out there”.

“WHAT!!!!”, I felt a knot forming in my stomach. I have been caught in the act of working bees before when a storm has moved in quickly. It can make even the most docile and workable bees reminiscent of scenes from The Exorcist.  I took a look at the only weather radar we have access to at work and sure enough there were green blobs closing in on us.

This years honey crop. Still in the supers.

Conditions had improved by 5:30 when the work day was over.  I was lucky enough to get the last supers removed without getting caught in the rain and prior to it getting dark.  All this has taught me that I must do something to help alleviate some of this stress for next year.  Any ideas or am I just going to have to have to live with it?

This week I will be discussing this years honey extraction and the things I learned so check back in.
Leave a comment.

This entry was posted in Honey and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Beekeeping and the weather

  1. Mil says:

    The weather liars!! Ha! I feel the same way; I just didn’t have quite the descriptive terminology for them. 🙂

    It’s easier doing all this beek stuff with two people. Is there any way you can get someone to help? Maybe an aspiring beekeeper?

    • Jason says:

      I did have help during the extraction process. I just had to get all of the supers and clean-n-dry all of the equipment myself. Which kinda stunk.

      I am on the lookout for aspiring young beekeepers. I would be glad to meet a young person that is aspiring for something today. I know some pretty good kids, but I know a lot of them who don’t seem to aspire for much more than sitting in front of a TV. :\ As I say I will be looking. It would be nice to pass on some of the things I am learning around here, because I think bees can be reliably raised even in mono-crop hell.

  2. Anita says:

    You should try a spring and fall honey harvest next year. Great work bees!

  3. Adam Stevens says:

    I feel your pain. My day job is an hour’s drive south of our hobby farm. I have hives in 3 locations, and hitting them all can be a challenge. For farming tasks that are weather dependent (oh wait, that’s almost all of them) sitting at the desk when the weather is perfect for something that needs to be done is incredibly frustrating.

    Suggestions? I don’t know. Let me know if you figure anything out!! I often try to cram in a hours worth of farming before I leave for work, and then race home to try to get a little done before dinner and family time. Saturdays are like gold.

    The most frustrating at work/farming situation, is when a friend calls cause a swarm has landed in their tree, and I can’t get there in time to hive it…

    • Jason says:

      I was checking out your page yesterday and it looks like you have some neat stuff going on around your place. I can tell just from reading a couple of posts that we are in similar boats…. It’s a wild ride all the time around here too.

      I am so far behind on so many things right now there are some days I have trouble figuring out what I need to do first. I would have it no other way though. In true agriculture there are a lot of different cycles that all need to be coordinated because otherwise they all will come to a head at the same time. I don’t consider mono-croping vast fields agriculture. Calling that agricultre is like calling people who work at McDonalds Chefs.

      Agriculture: the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products

      I will keep you posted if I figure something out. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *