Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

January 1, 2021

Getting Ready for Spring

For you newbees and wannabees, here are some instructions that you may want to review.

First of all, you need to join a beekeeping association near you and line up a mentor. Then get several catalogs to check the equipment you need, such as boxes, both deep brood boxes and honey supers. Order what you need and when it comes in, assemble the boxes and frames with foundation. Get the base for your hives set up, then read what your mentor suggests.

There are three ways to get your bees. 1) Order a package of bees to install in your hive. 2) Order a nuc, which is a split from a working colony with a laying queen. A nuc is half of a working colony with approximately half of a full sized colony. 3) Get a swarm of bees that have split off of a colony and is free for the taking. It installs into you hive the same as the packaged bees. At this time, I will not go into details of these operations as your mentor will guide you. If on the other hand, you do not understand how and why, then write in the comment section and I will try to help you. In all three ways, you will need to feed your bees to give them the help to draw wax, and put food up for the winter.

For the first season beekeepers, this is suggestions for you to ponder. You should have checked by weight or have looked into the hive to see if you need to feed the bees for winter. You should be aware that the swarming season is drawing near. You need to have brood boxes, nucs, or weak colonies located so that when you get these swarms, you will have boxes, frames, and places to put the swarms.

Don’t forget to check the pollen substitute in case you need some. Remember, the bees will starve to death if you are missing either honey or sugar water, or pollen. Honey is the carbohydrate (or energy) and pollen is the protein. The nurse bees starts to use the most of the food stores. The larvae eats 90% pollen and 10% honey and it is at this time of the year that the queen begins to lay up to 2500 to 3,000 eggs a day getting ready for the spring honey flow.

Remember, this information is for approximately 100 miles north and south of a line from Jacksonville, FL to Pensacola, FL with the line going on west. We are considered in the temperate zone.

I want to wish all yawl a Happy and Very Prosperous New Year.

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