5 Ways to ready your bees for spring! The starting place is always a daunting thing. So many things need doing. Lets make a list of places to start.
- Clean your shed and do a stocktake of your beekeeping supplies. As we move through the list of preparations we will need our working space clean and organised, creating a ready space for assembly. Start with one small area and clean it up completely, then move to the next. Make sure that you “put it away, not just put it down.”
- Buy the extra equipment that you will need for this season. Hive sets, frames, nucleus boxes, beetle traps to name a few. It is wise to have a complete hive for every one you have out in the field ready to go. As we know, bees double in number every year. One hive becomes two, then those two become four etc…Swarm season will be fast upon us. While its too cold to check the bees, it is a perfect time to assemble and paint in readiness.
- Clean around your hives. Remove debris and rubbish that has accumulated in your apiary. Mowing around your hives creates a clear and safe area to work in.
- Have some inspection sheets ready to go. Create a checklist of what is important to be aware of in your hive. Eggs, larvae, brood, queen, queen cells, small hive beetle, varroa mite, smell, number of honey frames- capped and uncapped, number of brood frames, is there pollen, how strong it is and have a notes area for anything else.
- Make a swarm prevention plan. As a queen cell is made and hatched in 16 days, inspections should occur often enough to prevent a swarm. If a swarm cell is present, an artificial swarm (moving the queen into a new box with brood and new frames) is necessary to prevent an actual swarm from potentially moving into your neighbours house. A swarm is when the old queen and half the colony leaves to find a new home. A queen cell is left with the other half of the colony to become a new hive.