Thursday, March 10, 2016
Beekeepers tend to get really excited for the maple bloom every year, but usually it turns out to be a flop. That's not because the maples aren't blooming, but because here in the Northwest we typically have periodic rain showers throughout the day during Spring (yes the whole season). Sometimes if the Blackberry bloom is early that nectar flow can get dimmed as well. However everyone still hopes for a 3-4 day period of sunshine during the peak maple bloom. Just the other day I found myself thinking I needed sunglasses and an umbrella because I had the sun in my eyes and somehow was also getting rained on.
Seattle is a bit earlier than other parts of the Puget Sound, but I snapped the below photo today of a tree across the street from a few of my hives in Queen Anne. Not all the trees are out yet, but they aren't far behind this one. The maple flow is not exclusive to the native Big Leaf Maple and I've also seen other varieties of maples coming into bloom as well.
Sadly I don't see any days without rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future, however if it does happen I would also expect to start hearing about swarms.
Big Leaf Maple bloom.