Make or order spare hives and other equipment required for the coming season.
See that hive entrances are kept clear of dead bees. Note the amount of bee loss in your apiary note book.
Order queens and package bees now to avoid the last minute rush. FEBRUARY BEEKEEPING
See that hive entrances are kept clear of dead bees.
If you have not done so already, order your package bees or queens. Lift the hives from the front to determine
an estimate of colony honey stores – you should be lifting 45 to 50 pounds. If they are light (or near starving),
place two cups drivert sugar on the back end of the top bars above the bee cluster, or feed 2-4 quarts syrup in
a four-hole top-feeder
a using two parts sugar to one part water. MARCH BEEKEEPING
Register your hives with the Department of Agriculture. March 1 -15, open hive and check honey stores to be sure
there are at least four combs of honey in the hive. Feed syrup if there is less than two combs. Clean the hive bottom
board. Mouse guards may be removed about mid month. If colonies are 10 to 12 combs of bees, begin comb rotation
– two or three combs with young brood and eggs to center of bottom box and empty combs to sides of brood (next to honey)
in second box. If colony is 12 to 15 frames of bees with four to six combs of brood, add the first honey super over a queen excluder.
Put Terramycin medicated patties over the brood rearing area, or between the two boxes if you have 12-14 frames of bees.
Continue comb rotation. Make sure there are enough honey stores or feed your bees. Hives should have at least one full frame
of pollen and several frames of honey. If hive is light, feed the bees a 1:1 sugar syrup mixture. Feed pollen supplement if necessary.
If the colony is continuing to build up add a honey super every three weeks until June 1 (= 3 deeps or equivalent in westerns = 4-5 deeps of bees by June 1).
If you need more drawn comb, give the bees full sheets of foundation to draw out. Add no more than two or three frames
of foundation at a time to the center of the upper hive body. Never divide the brood nest with foundation, alternate foundation
between combs of brood. Queens should now be laying at full capacity. Honey yields will be greater if swarming is controlled
by removing swarm cells that contain eggs or larvae on the bottom or any edges of the comb.
Blueberries are in bloom the first week; Blackberries in bloom the second week; Black Locust the last week.
Remove the queen excluder when there is one box (deep or western) mostly full of honey over the brood nest.
Continue to monitor brood nest crowding. Bees sometimes store honey close to and in the brood nest causing crowding.
There should be one or two empty brood combs for the queen to lay in.
If brood nest crowding occurs consider adding another brood nest (western).
Only remove combs of honey when they are 2/3 capped (nectar wont shake from combs). Early morning or evenings
are the best times for removing comb to discourage robbing.
Note: Do not use brood nest combs in the honey supers to prevent contaminating honey with miticide residues.
Identify brood nest combs and boxes (westerns and deeps) with colored paint so that combs are not interchanged.
In mid-August remove and store any surplus honey that is at least two thirds capped over in a warm bee-proof, ant-proof place.
To do so, take off the honey supers early in the morning or in the evening so as to prevent robbing of the hive by other colonies of bees.
Treat all hives for 45 days with Apistan strips and treated with medicated patties and Fumidil-B as needed.
You may re-queen your colonies now if you did not do so in the spring. Unite weak colonies. To winter successfully,
each colony must have the equivalent of ten fully capped frames of honey in the second hive body plus honey arches in
the lower hive body, and two or more deep brood combs of pollen. If stores are insufficient, colonies should be fed a 2:1 sugar syrup mixture.
Use top feeders to prevent robbing. Start feeding early in the month, because the bees will not store the syrup and cap the cells when the weather turns cool.
Feed one gallon for each deep comb of needed stores. The last gallon should contain Fumidil-B. Feed pollen supplement as needed.
Extract honey now and give the wet combs back to the bees to lick clean.
Continue to feed bees if necessary. Whether bees need food or not, give one gallon of two-to-one sugar/water syrup containing Fumidil-B.
All appliances, supers, etc. should be cleaned and put in a dry place for next year Protect dark combs from wax moth damage.
Keep the entrances free of dead bees. This is a good time to go to beekeeper meetings and read all the beekeeping magazines
that have been stacking up all year. Repair old equipment, assemble all the new frames and supers you will need next year.
If you need apiary permits for outyards, apply for them now.