I’ve got to say, it’s become very handy having a beekeeper at my local Farmer’s Market. I wandered up there this past week, as I always do, and chatted up Karen Bean of Brookfield Farm. In particular, I wondered if she had any insight into the Case of the Missing Eggs. Turns out, she did!
One reason that a queen will pause egg-laying, apparently, is a “nectar dearth”. She said this with some puzzlement, since we’ve had spectacular weather here lately and we’re in the full blush of Spring, so there shouldn’t really be any shortage in area. However, when I offered that I had removed the sugar syrup supplies from my hives, she brightened: yep, the withdrawal of a ready source of nectar-like drink could be interpreted as a nectar dearth and would lead to a gap in egg-laying.
I don’t regret pulling the syrup. I know many beekeepers keep feeding until the girls stop taking it, but I prefer to pull when I put on the honey supers: 100% of my honey should come from Wallingford flowers, not Florida sugar plantations. (No offense intended if you prefer the supplement. I’m sure the amount of sugar that ends up in the supers is infinitesimal, it’s just matter of pride for me.)
I’ll try again this weekend (I’m giving a tour of my hives on Sunday to some folks from the neighborhood, so I’ll have to hassle the girls anyway). Hopefully we’ll be able to get both hives back on track.