We've made it to the official start of beekeeping season! If you haven't already gotten your beekeeping gear and bees, you can still get on board and setup a hive this year!
BEGINNERS: If you have received your bees, be sure to immediately install them into your hive. Ensure you have your hive setup and bring a mister to keep bees cool and use a smoker to keep the bees calm. Start feeding them liquid feed so the brood can build up. People in colder climates are likely still waiting for their bees.
ESTABLISHED HIVES: Spring is a busy time for bees as temperatures rise. With spring time weather irregularity, it can bring late blooming which means you will need to keep feeding consistently.
Drones will leave the hive with their drone congregation, the queen increases her egg-laying to around 1,000 a day, and the adult population rises to approximately 30,000 - 40,000. Depending on the region, you may need to give your growing colony more room by adding an extra box.
Check the hive every 10 days for pests, brood pattern, and food stores. If pests are present, take necessary precautions to treat but be careful to read all labels so you don’t contaminate your honey.
Now is a good time to clean the bottom board.
April and May are the predominant swarming months. You may want to set up swarm capture traps and have swarm retrieval equipment ready which can consist of a smoker, empty box, bottom board, protective clothing.
Estimated time (3+ hours):
- Install bee package upon receipt
- Perform spring splits and install nucs and queens starts (if needed) as the weather permits
- Check queen for brood pattern
- Clean bottom board
- Check for swarming
- Feed 1 gallon of Liquid Feed every 10 days
- Feed 1–2 lbs of Pollen Patties every 10 days
- Ensure bees have water source
- Switch entrance reducer to widest opening since bees are at their most active
- Inspect and treat for mites or other pests
- Network with local beekeepers to learn what they’re doing, when and what works
- Backyard Beekeeping Kit if you haven't already
- Order Live Bees if you haven't already
- Tools & Clothing - Suit or Jacket, Gloves, Frame Grips, Hive Stand
- Feed - liquid and/or pollen patties as often as needed
- Additional deep boxes and frames as needed to accommodate growing brood