The Dartford Beekeepers

Dartford Branch of the Kent Beekeepers’ Association

APIARY NEWS

MARCH 2019

 

           Despite the snow to start February it turned into a glorious month with T-shirt weather encouraging me to get to work on the garden side of the Apiary.  It also brought the bees out in force clearing the debris from the hive and as the garden burst into bloom they found much to forage on as well as a good supply of rain water caught in a barrel top.

           Although the weather was warm on the skin in the sun while you worked if you stood for a while in the shade the wind or breeze still had a chill to it and so it was unwise to open your hives and look at the brood as it would most likely lead to chilled brood and set your colony back a few weeks.

           As a rule of thumb it is best to wait for a warm day when the bees are flying well (this was what was happening in February) but wait until the flowering Current (Ribes) is in full flower.

           Check the weight of the hive and estimate the stores situation if you are concerned then feed but if the warm weather continues they should be fine and could possibly take a little thin syrup.  What they do need is a good usable supply of water nearby so that they can utilise any crystallised stores and free up laying room for the Queen.

           Get all your gear ready frames filled with foundation and spare hives etc to hand.  Put a swarm kit in a bag in the car ready and read your records from last year to refresh which colonies you were going to change etc.

           Lastly while the trees are still bare look around for Asian Hornet nests high up in the branches and keep an eye out for the new Queens looking for a new nest sight they are said to like Camellias' so if you have one keep a watch when it is in flower for the hornets hanging around.

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