Bees are Springing to Life!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

We had a wonderfully warm high 50’s day and the bees were crazy!!!  I started into winter with 5 hives, and had one that died out and 4 that appear to bee thriving.  I couldn’t bee more excited!

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So now that spring is in the air and the bees know it, what’s a beekeeper to do?  Well, spring is all about getting those girls up and running ASAP.  They’ve been clustered all winter, so they have some catching up to do!  They’ve been feeding on sugar cakes, and they likely have plenty of pollen stored up, but to bee safe I whipped up a batch of my gourmet pollen patties.

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When temps are consistently in the 50’s, then I’ll put some jars of syrup on the hives and that will really get the queens laying so they can get their numbers up.  The more bees, the more nectar and pollen can be brought into the hive when things begin to bloom, and the more honey they’ll produce.

Remember those swarms last year?  Well, that’s what overwintered hives do when they run out of room and don’t have enough ventilation.  This year, I plan to stay on top of things and make sure they have both.  I also intend to plant several swarm traps around the yard, and we need to figure out where we can put more hives.  Yee gads, more hives you say?  Now you sound like my husband.  You’ve gotta put ’em somewhere when you catch ’em.  Of course, I’ve heard other beekeepers say they’ve had more success catching other people’s swarms than their own when using swarm traps.  Hey, that’s ok too.  My swarms are probably happily residing in someone else’s hive.

Temps will be in the 40’s and 50’s this week, with a chance of snow on Thursday.  Ugh!!  Just when we thought it was over!  That’s always a bad thing when temps are warmer, then sudden cold sets in and the bees aren’t ready for it.  Just shows that we’re not out of the woods quite yet.  Regardless, I’ll bee cleaning frames and adding top boxes with jars of sugar syrup so the girls can get themselves juiced up.

Would love to hear how everyone else’s hives are doing and their strategies for pushing into spring!  All the best for happy spring hives!

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4 thoughts on “Bees are Springing to Life!

  1. I lost my nuc in February, and it looked like the bees got caught away from the very small cluster and all perished as a result 😦

    The 3 main hives look amazing! I am not planning to feed syrup, just letting them use up the fondant. I tossed on a pollen patty, but I saw bees with pollen in their baskets last Wednesday, so it’s coming!

    I am planning splits, like taking 2-3 frames per hive, to help head off swarming once they are brooding well, and making nucs for sale and expansion.

    We got snow pretty late last year, so I’m leaving wraps and all on until late April, I think. It’s chilly today with that wind going!

    Glad your bees did well over the winter!

    • Nucs are tough for a lot of beekeepers. But three strong hives is an excellent start for spring, and sounds like you have a good plan in place. Hope you have a great year!

  2. Hello,
    So glad to hear 3 of your hives made it through this difficult winter.
    I too live in Maryland ( Talbot County, Eastern Shore) and we had a particularly long, cold winter.
    My single hive has survived too and like you, I am thrilled. I will admit to fussing over them alot ie: taking my stethescope out to the hive to listen for sounds of life within, feeding them pollen patties, placing a moisture quilt on top and erecting a wind screen around the hive. Perhaps overkill, but who’s to say? They lived!!!
    Planning on a walk away split soon!
    Good to read your Blog!!!
    My best,
    Adrienne

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