The May that has just finished has been the strangest in my beekeeping experience so far. Going from a warm April to a cold wet May the bees have definitely been confused.
Normally May is a month of rapid growth with a good amount of forage for the bees, there is usually even some Spring honey. However, this year with the cold and wet weather across West Berkshire the bees have been stuck inside the hives and when they have been able to venture out the nectar flows have been limited. For the first time ever I had to give weaker colonies emergency food in May. Normally the winter stores are enough to get them through to the nectar flows.
Then a week ago everything changed. The sun has come out and the temperature has gone up. Plenty of flowers now seem to be producing pollen and nectar - in particular the bees are filling the hive with pollen from the Hawthorne Trees. Hopefully, this they will be able to pull back this years honey crop!