Spring Buildup & Honey Flow

Highlighting: Seasonal Beekeeping Advice

Date/Time:
Date(s) - 02/01/2019 - 06/30/2019
All Day

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Signs of the Season

  • Evening temperatures above 50°F
  • First pollen sources and early nectar flowers appear
  • Bees seem to be everywhere as they search for food
  • Bees line up at your external pollen feeder
  • Bees coming/going faster than can be counted at hive entrance

Activity in the Hive

  • Brood rearing starts and quickly ramps up
  • Total bee population increases from 10,000 (1 box) to 50,000 (5 or more boxes)
  • Drones appear as the colony population increases
  • Bees draw comb on new empty foundation
  • Swarm queen cells may appear along frame bottom bars
  • Swarm may issue from a hive taking 30-70% of the bees with the old queen

Beekeeper’s Checklist

☐ Remove hives that died during the winter – determine cause of death
☐ Be ready to add boxes to hives utilizing the stored comb frames
☐ Inspect hives regularly and take quick action to fix problems
☐ Fill external pollen feeder until bees no longer collect it
☐ Combine queenless hives with strong hives
☐ Remove entrance reducers
☐ Consider splitting hives for increase and to reduce swarming
☐ Test all hives monthly for varroa and treat as necessary
☐ Prepare for a honey harvest with proper equipment and legal labels
☐ Attend TBA Summer Clinic to improve beekeeping skills

Potential Problems

  • Queen loss over winter – combine with strong hive or requeen
  • Monitor queen quality and laying pattern – quickly replace failing queens
  • Secondary pests (wax moths and hive beetles) – have controls ready
  • Varroa increases with brood production – have controls ready

Decisions/Considerations

  • When will I split my hives, and what will I do with the increase?
  • Where will I get queens? (purchase, rear, walk-away)
  • What will I do with the honey production?
  • Will I collect and utilize other products from the hive?

 

Credit: THBEA NewBee Brochure 2018

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