February 2012 PDF Print E-mail

It is February and time to start preparing for the upcoming spring! 

At the  first opportunity, check the hive for weight.  There is no need to open the hive.  You can check the weight by lifting on the back of the hive.  If you do this on a cold day, the bees should not bother you.  The hive needs to weigh about 50 lbs at this point.  If the hive feels light, then you should probably add a candy board as soon as possible.  You can liquid feed on days that are above 50 degrees, but when it is colder the bees will cluster and will not leave the cluster to go to a liquid feeder.

 

If the hive has plenty of honey, then it is time to start planning for Spring.  If you plan to split your hive, now is the time to start putting on pollen patties.  Pollen patties encourage brood production in the hive.  It is recommended to feed 1/3 to 1/2 a pound patty at a time depending on the size of the hive.  On the first warm day(above 60 degrees), place the patty right above the cluster of bees.  On a side note, you will want to wear a bee suit or jacket to do this because the bees can be much more agressive in cooler weather.  Check back in a couple of weeks (depending on the weather) and  add another patty if needed.

 

If you are not planning on splitting your hive, then nothing needs to be done at this time.

 

By now, you should have already ordered bee packages.  If it hasn't already been done, this is also the time for cleaning up old equipment and assembling new equipment.  You should take inventory of boxes, frames, foundations, lids, and bottoms to make sure that you have enough for the upcoming Spring. 

A successful beekeeper plans ahead!