swarming bees has to be rated as good news.
Seems that the beasties are leaving their hives to colonize elsewhere in greater numbers than seen for a long time. Authorities suggest a warm spring have produced very favourable conditions for bee populations. Furthermore, there appears to have been considerably less winter kill in the US than there has been in recent years.
Losses have run as high as 36 per cent in 2007-2008, but in 2001-2012 "total losses of managed honey bee colonies from all causes were 21.9
percent nationwide" according the annual
survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America.
The bees are still buzzing around the bee balm in our front yard, and I noticed that despite cool, wet weather just when our two pear trees were in blossom that the trees are covered with small fruit already. That would suggest that bees are doing reasonably well here.
Anybody have more information?
July 4: a correction is necessary. The yellow flowers that I am so fond of isn't bee balm, but yellow loosestrife, I've discovered. Mea culpa!