By Steve Graham, Networx
Urban beekeeping is big, and many urban beekeepers are very successful at making honey. In fact, a French beekeepersí association study found that city bees in Paris generate more honey and have lower mortality rates than rural bees.
However, many urban beekeepers struggle at some point with making enough honey to collect or even to keep the colony alive. During the first season, rookie beekeepers can expect to struggle with their colonies. Honey production may be minimal, and the colonies may need additional food to make it through the winter.
More experienced beekeepers may also face a variety of problems making honey. Beekeeping is a complex and intricate pursuit with many variables. Here are a few potential reasons for a drop in honey production. These are just some troubleshooting suggestions. We recommend joining and consulting a beekeeping organization for more specific and local help with your bees and their honey.
Watch the weather
Bees that live in a given climate are well-adapted for making honey in that climate. But weather patterns seem to be getting more extreme, erratic and unpredictable in many areas, creating problems for bees and the plants they pollinate.
Too much spring rain can keep the bees from venturing out of their winter hives. On the other hand, not enough rain will limit flower growth. Likewise, extreme heat and cold are also dangerous for bees.
Be aware of extreme temperatures and precipitation, and be prepared to provide supplemental food and support to help the bees adjust.