The changing of the seasons can certainly be a blessing and a curse at times it seems, but in the beekeeping world, it presents a unique set of advantages.
With all the changing seasons, it makes the beekeeping year very regimented. The change simplifies for beekeepers when they should be performing tasks. In parts of the world where seasons blur into one another and the beekeeping year blends right into the next, they face unique challenges to managing their honey bees.
One of the major benefits (not from a production stand point) is that the winter brings about a break in the brood cycle. It is this break that acts as a natural mite reproduction inhibitor. Without this break, beekeepers are forced to constantly treat for mites, in-between honey flows, during honey flows, and at all different points throughout the year.
Another benefit of change is allows us to predict/calculate when honey flows will start and end – dandelions in the spring, clovers in the summer and goldenrod in the fall. Year over year flows will be better or worse than others, but keeping some simple data (start and end of flows) allow the beekeeper to predict with some level of accuracy when to start to expect things to happen
Lastly, having the winter gives us a nice little break from the long grueling hours we put in throughout bee season. The break gives us a chance to fix equipment, build new equipment and find efficiencies in beekeeping processes. It certainly would be difficult to find time throughout the year to squeeze these jobs in!
There are many reasons to fall in love with beekeeping in a place that has 4 uniquely different seasons! What do you think?
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