Saturday, February 15, 2020
Hives coming out of February
It is now mid February. The days are getting noticeably longer. We are picking up about three minutes a day in sunlight. By Feb 29th (leap year this year), we will have picked up forty minutes of daylight from today. The solar radiation is getting stronger, on a sunny day,you can feel the heat through your winter coat.
The solar radiation is helping to warm the hives. Bee will be going out on cleansing flights more often now.
The queen should be laying now. I think most of us should have a patch of brood. It may not be much at the moment, by the end of the month there may be a frame or two of brood.
Hives should be checked to see if they survived the latest blast of cold. The cold was not long in duration, so most hives should still be alive, if the bees had access to food.
On a warm day (in the 30's), if you opened up the top of your hive and looked across all the top bars of the top box, you should be able to see capped honey at the top of some of the frames. Hopefully you would see this capped honey, right adjacent to the cluster. If you don't see this, I would close the inner cover and put the moisture board back on. Then take your winter cover off. Break the top box loose with your hive tool. Lift the top box and feel the weight. If the box is very light, I would feed syrup to the hive. This is an emergency feeding situation. We would hate to lose the bees now. If you see capped honey, or the top box feels a little heavy, the bees should be fine for another two weeks. The bees need about 7-9 lbs of honey to live for two weeks. By March 1st, we can give syrup and pollen.