Preparing for Spring
The temperatures are slowly creeping back up and the days are getting longer. More and more we are seeing activity from our hives now. The bees have been bringing in a lot of yellow, orange, and cream colored pollen. Continue to stay vigilant to the food stores.
Remember, there’s still not that much nectar forage out there for them and we know this time of year can bring many days of rain. Feed any hives that you feel need it until you see plants blooming and days of sunshine.
With the days growing longer, the queen steadily increases her rate of egg laying and the drones begin to appear. More brood means more food consumed. As temperatures rise you can begin feeding syrup rather than dry feed. But be careful, because once you start the Queen will increase her egg laying and you will need to continue until there is plenty of forage as there will be more mouths to feed in the hive. Remember as you feed syrup, you stimulate the queen to increase egg laying in the early Spring… sometimes more and faster than you want… which results in swarms the latter part of April or early May.
Continue to check for food stores by hefting/lifting the backs of each hive to feel the weight.
You should be able to start feeding syrup to those that are low on stores.
Clear the entrances of dead bees.
Check your equipment for the upcoming season.
(Jackets have no holes, gloves haven’t had mice chewing on fingertips, buy extra equipment, if needed, etc)
Mites treatments (if needed)
Order your packaged bees
Buy your equipment; 2 deeps or 3 westerns (with bottoms and lids) for the bees home, bee jacket, hive tool, smoker, and feeder.