Updated: Mar 22, 2019
Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for the beekeeper. If you plan to requeen or split make sure you have queens on order as they are usually sold out by April.
Beekeepers Check List
· Remove hives that died during winter. The boxes and comb can be reused as long as the hive did not die from a brood disease.
· Clean boxes in storage and prepare them for honey supering
· Check mite levels and treat if necessary.
· Remove entrance reducers when temperatures start rising above 60F
· Consider splitting over wintered hives to prevent swarming
· Requeen old or failing queens
· Feed hives that have less than 3 frames of honey.
· Feeding pollen sub. will help the bees ramp up brood production
· Hives that have queenless can usually be salvaged as long as they hasn’t been more than 3 weeks. Giving them a frame or two of brood until you can install a queen will greatly increase the hives chance of survival
March Tips of the Month
· 1. As the weather warms up, empty frames of comb that were formally full of food can be rotated in between the frames of brood. This forces the queen to lay in the comb, expanding the brood nest. Be careful! Do not rotate too many frames into the brood circle as it could cause the brood to chill. In cold weather bees cannot even move one frame over to retrieve the life saving honey.
· 2. Hives may have depleted a large amount of their stores by April, if so, feed sugar syrup and consider feeding pollen substitute if they are not bringing in pollen. Hives will decrease their brood production if they do not have excesses of food.
· 3. March is a great time to split hives, as they will have enough time to grow to be able produce honey. Splits will need to be heavily fed.
· 4. Check your Varroa population and treat accordingly. If your hive mite count on a sugar roll that is 2-3. I would suggest treating as the mite population will continue to grow and, you do not want to have to treat your hive during the honey flow