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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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mid March hive report

Pail feeder in the spring. A hive that is not level, shimming the pail to make it level is required. A pail that is not level may leak out.
After polling many of my customers purchasing pollen patties for live colonies. The common theme for winter survival was treating for Varroa in August and hives that were heavy with honey.
 Many beekeepers who lost colonies treated for Varroa late and or the food stores were not adequate for the rigors of this winter. Some beekeepers had adequate food stores early in the fall but lost some of the honey due to robbing of hives in the fall.
 The current cold temperatures are holding back colony expansion in over wintered colonies. The bees have to cover the brood to keep it warm. With the cold more bees have to cover the frames keeping them from expanding the brood nest. As the temperatures warm the bees will be able to occupy a larger area in the hive. The cooler temperatures may impact early spring divides with some divisions coming later or not at all.
 To help the colonies build up, pollen patties should be on and if needed, feeding can start pretty much anytime.
 One thing about spring feeding. Beekeepers should only feed as needed. A big mistake some beekeepers make in the spring, is feed pail after pail of syrup, this can fill up the hive with syrup leaving no place for the queen to lay. Obviously, if starting a new colony and drawing out new foundation, continuous feeding is required from the time the bees are installed until at least mid June.