The Cool Returns

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The cool weather and the lack of warm days is killing honey bees in our area.

After a decent weekend, things are going downhill again.

First, as indicated by the chart below, we failed to reach 75F this weekend and thus we are completely smashing the 75F record...we are now the latest of all years in getting to 75F (old record was June 9). And it is going to be a while before we do so.
Today I was talking to a bee-keeping friend of mine who lives on Bainbridge Island. This weekend he went outside to check his hives and found a thousand bees dead on the ground in front of them. Why? He believes they starved to death because of the cool weather. Honey bees like the temperature to be 57F for them to fly around actively and this year such periods were rare. Now he is feeding them sugar water to keep them alive. That does not make quality honey.

Tomorrow a strong cold low will move over the cold the National Weather Service put out a special statement about snow above 5000 ft. Here is the upper level (500 mb) map with shading indicating temperature. I would be thinking about snow in Seattle if it were December and I saw this pattern.

The bees are not going to be happy campers. Our temperatures will be 5-10F below normal and there is a good chance of light showers over the region tomorrow. And Wednesday won't be much better. But drying and warming is expected this weekend.

Finally, if any of you are interested, I will be one of the instructors this summer (August 5-8) at the North Cascade Institute's Northwest Naturalists Weekend: Weather, Wildfire and Biodiversity. I will provide a series of talks on NW weather and the other instructors will be talking about effects of wildfires and about lowland forests. Plus, hikes and canoe trips and good organic food in a beautiful location. For more information go to:

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