By Ann Harman
- Inspect colony progress when weather is suitable—above 60°F, low or no wind, sun.
- Keep inspection time as short as possible, especially with package bees.
- Observe brood pattern for queen performance.
- Eggs and young larvae indicate presence of queen.
- Requeen if original queen’s performance is poor—few eggs and young larvae.
- As the number of bees increases, open up to full entrance.
- Learn the early pollen and nectar plants in your area.
- Feed 1:1 sugar syrup to increase comb construction.
- Watch returning forager bees at entrance to monitor pollen collection.
- If fresh pollen is scarce feed fresh pollen patties.
- Since small hive beetles like pollen patties, monitor their numbers.
- To encourage bees to draw foundation, lightly spray with 1:1 sugar syrup with Honey-B-Healthy®.
- Top Bar Hives: move follower board to keep up with comb construction.
- Langstroth Hives: when previous brood box has 90% drawn comb, add next brood box.
- First-year colonies may not produce surplus honey for the beekeeper.
- Do not put on honey supers while feeding sugar syrup. Bottled syrup is not honey!
- Watch your bees’ foraging area throughout the spring.
- Reach your goal! All comb drawn and colony numbers increasing by end of June.
Don’t Forget Your Next Club Meeting
Ann Harman keeps bees and does her bee tasks in Flint Hill, Virginia