New beekeeper tips for the start of the season…
Now that March is here, we should have some warmer weather on the horizon.
On a dry warm day lift the hive and if it is light, it will need a feed of fondant or sugar syrup, but first light your smoker and give a few puffs of cool smoke at the entrance.
Then working from the back, remove the roof and set it aside and then do the same with the cover board.
You now need to check the colony for eggs, brood and stores. So gently remove the end comb using your hive tool, have a look at it shaking off any bees and place it on its edge at the hive entrance.
Take out each comb and if you can see eggs you know that it is Queenright, so you don’t need to look further. Then replace the end comb, and if stores are low fill the feeder on top of that, the cover board and roof.
Then make a note in your book of what you have done, not forgetting the date. On your next visit you can compare notes to see if the colony has increased.
Do all of the above as quickly and gently as possible to prevent the colony getting cold and disturbed too much.
Wishing everyone a great beekeeping season ahead.
Founder of B J Sherriff and former commercial honey farmer.