Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What Is Going On In Maria's Apiary: Spring Cleanup

It is a wonderful feeling to pop off the covers
and find a strong honey bee hive

Hives are strong and ready to go.
Strong hives in early Spring are both a delightful surprise and an incredible challenge. You have the promise of a wonderful honey crop, provided you can keep the bees in their boxes.

Every Spring, I am reminded how close to the edge honey bees overwinter. At the start of the Maple flow, the honey bee cluster is usually pushing at the inner lid. I like to check their status at the first break in the weather.

Last year's May splits and packages had around 4 honey frames left each. There was one exception - one hive had a full second brood box. Of course, I checkerboarded that one. I am also going to keep it in mind as a possible candidate for queen breeder.

The splits that I made in July had at most 1 frame of honey left and were making the best of the candy boards that I put on in the Fall.

I reversed the boxes on the rest of them, made sure each hive had at least 2 capped honey frames and plenty of candy board left and added fresh patties. I also swapped the weakest and the strongest hive positions in order to equalize the populations.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

What Is Going On In Maria's Apiary: Time for Pollen Patties

One of my July splits after driving the bees down
to make space for the pollen patty
I checked the hives and added pollen patties on 3/8/2016. The honey bee hives are looking great. The clusters are good and I have 9 out of 9 hives make it through the winter.

This weekend is going to be time for housekeeping in the apiary. Time to clean the bottom boards and reverse the boxes. Looks like Spring time is here :D