Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring cleanup in the apiary

On Wednesday, April 1, I was finally able to peek under the covers. The temperature was balmy 69F, it was sunny and really pleasant. I took the opportunity to do my spring cleanup:

  • Assess cluster size and food reserves
  • Check the brood nest
  • Clean out the bottom boards

  • I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the clusters. The queen had just started laying. If I needed to treat for mites, it would have been a great opportunity since I found only eggs. At this point in time even a sugar shake combined with cleaning out the bottom board in about 15 minutes or a sticky board would have had a major impact. I did not have to do anything since the mite numbers were very low.

    The bees were making headway on the patties I provided on the weekend. They were heavily working the maple trees. They had multiple pollen frames, a couple of frames of nectar and almost no capped honey. I added a couple of capped honey frames that I held back in the fall.

    I reversed the hive bodies and cleaned out the bottom boards. The hives are all spruced up and ready to go.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Spring is almost here! in Maria's apiary

    Winter finally let go on Saturday, March 28 and I was able to slip new protein patties into the hives.

    This year, the patties are softer since they were drying out too quickly last year. I’ve also added a few drops of lemongrass oil and spearmint oil to make them more palatable. Each hive got one of the old batch and one of the new batch, so we shall see how that turns out.

    I did not get much of a peek inside since it was in the 40s. However, the maples are blooming and as usual, the temps are taking us for a wild ride. Tomorrow, the weatherman is promising us almost 70F. Hopefully, I will be able to take a quick peek in and assess the situation.

    How are your bees doing?