This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's happening right now with my bees

I have talked to several beekeepers around the metro. The bees have been finding natural pollen. Pussy Willows and Silver Maples seem to be offering up the current pollen. Pollen patties are still being consumed at a fast rate. The warm weather has let the bees expand the brood nest and brood production is increasing.
It is not uncommon this time of year if we get a cold snap, there can be some brood mortality due to chilled brood. Chilled brood occurs basically two ways. One, when the bees expand the brood nest and then it turns cold. The cluster will contract and there are not enough bees to cover and keep warm the very outside frames of new brood. If you notice the outside brood has turned from a pearly white to a discolored yellow this is probably what happened.
The other way to chill brood is when doing a spring hive inspection. When the temps are cool and it is a bit breezy, it is important to not to stand a brood box on end. The wind will blow through the frames and quickly chill the brood and cause significant damage to the brood. In the spring always keep the hives parallel with the ground when doing inspections.
Next week it looks like temps getting into the upper 60's. It is time to remove the winter covers. On a warm day it is ok to break the hive down and clean the bottom board. Reversals will be coming shortly when daytime temps stabilize to the 50's. Usually around April 1st.