Almost all of our beekeepers have their scales set up now and we are ready to start diving into the data. Currently, we have 17 hive scales that have been active from April 1-April 11 that we can take a look at this week, and next week, we will hopefully be able to report on all 34!
So as you can see, the data is very noisy…we will work on figuring out how best to display the data from all 34 locations without oversimplifying it or transforming the data too much. But just looking at the weight on April 1st and the weight on April 11th for all of these hives, I see relatively little change in weight. There might be a slight increase going on but to me, it is not strong enough to indicate the poplar flow has started.
There are several folks supplementally feeding quite frequently and as a result, these hives appear to be building up, again comparing the weight from the 1st to the 11th. Now looking at hives that have not been fed so frequently, it appears there is just enough forage to sustain colonies but not enough to start packing the honey on.
If you’re wondering about the data gaps for some of the scales, I removed any weight readings that were taken when hives were strapped down during the storm we had this past week. With the inclement weather and high winds, some folks strapped their hives to the scales to stabilize them (the mechanism these scales use to take the weight can cause the hive to get a little wobbly). This created elevated readings from the pressure of the ratchet straps so to simplify the graph, I went ahead and removed these readings.
Now since we have 7 scales up in Wake county, let’s take a deeper dive into what’s going on there:
Looking at these 7 scales, I’ll be honest, it’s hard to tell what’s going on with only 10 days of weight data. Wake-1, 6, and Ref1 appear rather flat, in fact 1 and 6 are even declining slightly. Since these are not being supplementally fed, it leads me to believe we are still waiting for the poplars to pop! Wake-2, 3, 4 and 5 are being fed fairly regularly and are starting to put that food to use, gaining ~20 pounds or in the case of Wake-2 burning through 20 pounds in a short amount of time. Wake-4 is an extreme example of this, gaining almost 30 pounds from April 1 to April 11!
Tulip poplar shouldn’t be too far out and several folks have mentioned they’ve already seen some starting to bloom! We will continue to work with this data and try to find the best way to display it from twice as many hives next week! Yowza!