Beekeeping Information Centre

Bee Craft Timely Reminder – 25th April 2018

Have you had a peek inside your hives?  We feared lack of space may be an issue for those alongside OSR (Oil Seed Rape), but were surprised at how behind they are, with still a way to go to having brood boxes full of sealed brood frames.  It’s still generally too cold for the workers to spend much energy foraging and while they have sufficient stores, no supers are needed yet despite the golden fields alongside the apiary.

Maybe further inland it is warmer and your bees have caught up.  But don’t make the mistake of giving them supers too early or it makes life stressful for them.   If the colonies are still a bit weak, pop in the varroa tray to help with some extra warmth.

Make sure you have your marking kit ready for your first inspection which is a very likely time to spot the Queen.  If you clip your queens, include a good pair of scissors reserved only for this purpose.

Don’t forget to have some tea tree oil handy for any early season stings.  It covers the smell of pheromones and reduces swelling and itching.

Did you buy some disposable shower caps to cover the bellows of your smoker? Don’t let it cover the vent hole at the bottom or you’ll never get your smoker to light. Make sure it is topped up so it doesn’t go out right when you need it most.

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