March can be worse than a BEAR for our bees.
I know I say it all the time, but be careful this month. March can be tough on bees as they are trying to raise brood with limited resources. In addition, the weather can be highly variable – 70’s one day, subfreezing the next. These swings stress the colony as they try to maintain the environment of the brood nest.
On those 70 degree days, for that matter anything over 40 degrees, open the hive to add provide some form of feed, whether it be pollen substitute and syrup. The last thing you want is a colony that was healthy enough to survive winter die of starvation, and if it made it to March you did a good job of getting it healthy. The feeding is cheap insurance.
This past weekend I checked and treated and treated them a second time with Oxilic Acid. All hives were in good shape and should survive if we take care of them. It is now your responsibility to check your hive at a minimum of every two weeks. Make sure they still have plenty of stores of honey. If you are concerned, feed them 1:1 sugar . I have two hives I am now feeding sugar water and may add the one at the Apiary as well. This is NO time to lose your bees. The hardest part is over….and yet we are right now at the place where bees may simply starve . Of course you may call on me to asssit you at anytime…BUT…your hive is now your responsibility. You must ask. I am going to make the assumption you care enough for your bees to make your inspections, feeed them, and ask me for help at any point you feel you need my asssitance. Soon the new hives of Bee Team Two will be joining you. If you are willing to mentor a new beekeeper, please let me know. Teaching is the best way to learn!
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