I understand that in the north you have a significant amount of snow. In which case do make sure the entrances to your hives are free of the white stuff.

Also it is a good idea to shelter the entrance to reduce the light entering the hive. This helps prevent the bees coming out of the hive mistakenly thinking the warmer weather has arrived and dying in the cold.

I have been asked to remind you to keep an eye on the varroa levels in your colonies too. Don’t assume they all have the same levels and only treat if necessary. Put varroa trays in place and check the drop over a week. Look at the NBU guidelines for acceptable drop numbers. The majority of treatments mean that any honey collected cannot be used for human consumption so do make sure you keep accurate records of treatments which must be retained for 7 years. Ensure you follow the instructions, particularly regarding when to remove treatment from your colonies. It is best to forego your spring honey to ensure your colony survives.

Alternatively, if you do need to treat, you could take this as an opportunity to replace dirty comb with foundation so they use their resources to build comb.

One last time - if you are a subscriber to the printed copy of Bee Craft, don’t forget to bring your March issue of Bee Craft to the Spring Convention so you can collect your free centenary lavender plant from our stand on Saturday. Sorry, but no magazine, no plant!
Digital subscribers can collect a free pack of Sunflower seeds at the stand too. And while you’re there, be prepared to take some photos of our textile apiary - or better still, bring along anyone who has an interest in textiles.

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