There's a lot of weather around. Last weekend brought Storm Ciara to the UK. Next weekend we'll get Storm Dennis.
There were fence panels down in our garden and a tree has blown down within sight of the house. The forecast was indicating gusts up to 66mph (57kn). It was noisy indoors.
Ciara seemed much stronger than usual, but how does it compare?
More extreme weather this week as Storm Gareth hit the UK. Oxfordshire experienced high winds gusting up to around 40 knots. This caused Hive D to blow over.
I discovered the stricken hive on Monday afternoon. The hive straps had held it together so it had only fallen over on one side. I put a veil on and placed it on its stand. Amazingly no bees came out of the hive. When I looked in through the door there were no bodies on the floor of the hive.
It's been windy and rainy recently. I checked yesterday on the 3 colonies in my out apiary. They're all upright (which is nice) and ticking over. There is evidence of brood emerging, with lots of Varroa mixed into the chewed cappings. The cold spring must have knocked back the Varroa but they built up again in the Autumn.
So far, so fine.
The UK has been experiencing a heatwave for at least six weeks:
The bees have been fine. There has been forage and there are water sources for them to use. We have not been fine. It's hot and we're not used to it.
The weather has become cold. There's heavy snow forecast and my hives are light on stores. It's an anxious time.
I don't like feeding but I will once the weather warms sufficiently. I've made up some fondant (the recipe didn't really work but it's good enough). I didn't think that I'd over-harvested but the forage was patch and the wasps were relentless. I misjudged.
For now, I wait. Maybe the weekend will be warmer.
I checked on Hive E today. There was evidence of uncapping which suggests that the bees are still alive. There was also some small pieces of broken comb which is unsurprising following a knock down. One unexpected find was a wax moth larva.
All the other hives in my out-apiary are showing evidence of recent uncapping. I assume that they're ok
Poor Hive E. It was knocked over last night during the high winds. I righted it this morning. No bees came out but that isn't conclusive. I'll check in a few days to see whether there is sign of life from inside.
Storm Caroline blew through overnight. It was worst in Scotland but we had higher winds. All 5 hives in my out apiary stayed upright. During my check this morning I also found evidence of activity in all 5: brood and honey cell cappings on the hive floor. The entrances are all clear.