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.

Search This Blog

Monday, January 16, 2017

What is happening now in the hive

Things are happening in the hive and signs of spring are in the works.
Our days are getting longer. Sunset now is at 5pm. Great Horned Owls are nesting. I heard black capped Chickadees doing their fee-bee sound. This starts usually in late January. Listen for it. Especially with the upcoming warm weather.
Chickadee Fee-Bee call
 Things are changing in the hive right now. The upcoming January thaw will give colonies the opportunity to reorganize in the hive. This is the time of year when bees transition from their lower box moving into the upper box. The warmer weather makes this easier for the bees to accomplish. Some colonies have already moved up if their winter stores are lacking. If a colony is very heavy with honey, the bees may not move up for several weeks yet. But for most of us, the move will be happening from now into early February.
 There should not be any brood in the colony right now. Normally the queen starts laying in early to mid February. The upcoming warm weather should not spur brood production at the moment. If this warm weather stays around for a while, the queen may start laying early. This can be a problem if this happens, Starvation can occur if near zero weather hits for several nights in a row in February. But for now, enjoy the warm weather, the bees will be out on cleansing flights during this time. If you don't have a top entrance (1 inch hole) in your top box, go out and drill one. The bees need a top entrance now.  Check out your bees to make sure they are alive.
The warm weather is a perfect time to add winter sugar patties. This emergency food can possibly prevent starvation during any cold spell. You would hate to lose the bees now.
 Spring is coming, get that equipment painted up. The bee season is starting soon.
Painting my new five frame nuc boxes
I am getting my five frame nuc boxes ready for packages arriving in April. I start the packages in five frame nuc boxes and move the bees into 10 frame equipment in late April.