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The beekeepers seasons and honeybee activity (part 2)

The Beekeepers Seasons And Honeybee Activity (Part 2)

Months in this article relate to the northern hemisphere cool temperate climate.


In the beehive:

In warm areas the colony will be starting on a new cycle of life.  The steadily increasing brood and newly hatched bees will consume pollen.  The colony consumes far more food in March than in the cold of December.  In the warmth of the midday sun you can often see the young bees making their first tentative movements outside.

The bees must have access to water close to the hive.  Even in the cold and damp they will venture outside to fetch water for the brood.  If the source of water is too far, they can freeze to death.

Jobs for the beekeeper:

Place a source of water near to the hives, you could use a trough filled with moss or a container with a dripping tap from which water drips onto a board with a small groove.  The bees must always be able to find water at the watering place.  To help them find it initially, mix the water with a little honey.

Without disturbing the bees, check through their rubbish.  The debris on the floor of the hive can tell you a lot about the condition of the colony:  how much food they have consumed, how many have died in the winter.

Do not inspect the colonies without good reason.  Queenless colonies should be united with another colony, but only if the temperature is above 15 centigrade.  If the window in the rear-opening hive has misted over, the colony will be breeding and will not want to be disturbed.   All they need in this case is warmth, honey, pollen and water.

If you have any pollen combs available, hang them in the vicinity of brood nest or even better, put them in earlier so that the bees have them over the winter.  Start embedding foundation into frames, or make up frames with ready-wired foundation for the coming season: about twenty per colony, including young colonies and swarms.  If you have rear-opening hives, you will probably need fewer.  Take steps to ensure future honey flow when sowing and planting.

To find out more about beekeeping and other seasons, go to my blog www.basicfactsofbeekeepingtomakehoney.blogspot.com

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