I moved to Albuquerque for the rosemary. Unlike Chicago, here you can grow rosemary outdoors, harvesting its resiny leaves 12 months a year for your polenta and scones and garlicky lamb.
And if Winter was wet enough but not TOO wet, rosemary shrubs in Albuquerque will bloom each Spring like a cloud of violets drawing bees from miles around.
Honeybee and rosemary
Albuquerque top bar bee sage TJ offers the following report:
Poppies in my Albuquerque garden
What’s blooming now?
- The Globe Willow trees turned from yellow to green in the past week.
- Anne C. noticed that the Silver Maple in her yard has bloomed and the bees are on it full time.
- Wild mustard is in bloom. The bees will find it of course and spoil the early spring honey. Let the bees keep this first bit of honey.
- I have dug up many dandelions. No blooms yet, but they will be out soon. Not good for the honey either.
- Thousands of Oriental Poppies are up in my garden. Also bulbing plants are sprouting up. Lilac plants in my neighborhood are ready to blossom.
Still too dry for a good honey flow in the spring. Forecast is for rain and snow for the next several days. Could come in time.
When is swarm season in Albuquerque?
Swarm season (in Abq) usually starts around Good Friday/Easter.
Time for spring feeding
Not everyone feeds their bees, but now is a good time for supplemental feed. Try sugar water at 1:1. After the weather is warmer, try four parts of water to one part of sugar (same ratio as nectar), as this causes the queen to start laying a bit early for strong spring buildup.
On Saturday, TJ issued an invitation irresistible to any new beekeeper: a hands-on demo of his spring hive inspection.
My first hive opening, it was magic. Check out some annotated photos from the inspection and a slideshow version below