By: Ann Harman
- It’s Spring Hive Cleaning Time!
- Select a day above 60°F, warm sun, low wind, to inspect hives from top to bottom
- While inspecting replace any old or damaged equipment
- Help the bees by cleaning off bottom board and area underneath hive
- Clean up any Winter debris from beeyard
- In bear country, inspect and repair bear and small critter fence
- Select old and damaged comb for replacement during a good nectar flow
- If using foundation (Langstroth) for replacement mist it with 1:1 sugar syrup with Honey-B-Healthy as an attractant
- Depending on weather, monitor food supply, pollen and nectar
- If necessary, feed with 1:1 sugar syrup and pollen patties
- Monitor pollen patties for small hive beetles
- Inspect brood pattern and colony numbers – does queen need replacement?
- If colony is weak but disease-free, combine with strong colony
- Kill the queen in the weak colony when combining
- If any disease suspected contact local bee inspector or experienced beekeeper
- If in small hive beetle area, keep inspection to a minimum
- Look for swarm signs – drones at entrance, queen cells at bottom bar of frames
- Learn swarm time in your area and use your preferred method of swarm prevention
- Brood chambers can be reversed if bottom one is empty
- Reverse every seven to 10 days until strong nectar flow begins
- If reversing, do not split brood pattern
- Do you know your Spring nectar and pollen plants? If not, learn them
- Have honey supers ready before nectar flow begins
- If feeding syrup do not put any honey supers on
- Monitor the weather during strong nectar flow – increase or decrease honey supers if necessary
Check to make sure
your bees are bringing
Inspecting hives, reversing if necessary.
Watch for small hive beetles, especially if feeding protein patties.
Check brood frames. Is the queen doing her job?
The best way to control
Watch for swarms.