As I woke up this morning, the signs are all there that we will have another day of rain. We've had a honey flow season replete with rain.
Our neighboring state of North Carolina is experiencing similar conditions. In the June E-Flier from North Carolina bee supply company, Brushy Mountain, Shane Gebauer writes:
"The spring flow has been terrible this year. Any reserves are quickly consumed when the bees are house bound by all the rain and cool weather. Once this weather pattern breaks watch for swarms. They are crowded in a hive by the weather with nothing to do, so "hey lets make swarm cells". O.K., this is an over-simplification and imposes human traits/characters on the bees, but you get the point. This time of year there a spike in swarming activity after several days of rain."
In my past three years, during this period of time, I am both harvesting already and am putting on extra boxes by the day. This year my bees are not needing extra boxes as quickly and so far are barely producing honey for hive to use for the winter. I have hives that I will be able to take honey from in a few weeks, but not as much as in previous years.
And so today again it will rain. The drought was terrible for Georgia, and I'm grateful for the rain, but it isn't having a great effect on the bees.
P.S. Sure enough, it rained all day. I came home to find the bees in one hive all clustered on the porch (see above picture). It wasn't hot, the hive has a propped top and a slatted rack so should be well ventilated. Do you think they are plotting a swarm when the rain stops on Friday afternoon? Or are they all so bored indoors with nothing to do that they came out to enjoy the rainy afternoon and evening?