Spring inspections, especially early spring, need a balance of not too often, but often enough to avoid problems. The first thing you see is…what’s left from last fall. In the south, these inspections took place some time ago, and in the north,...
Spring inspections, especially early spring, need a balance of not too often, but often enough to avoid problems. The first thing you see is…what’s left from last fall. In the south, these inspections took place some time ago, and in the north, they are just wrapping up, but what you find early on will help determine what needs to be done now.
Mite testing is certainly on the agenda, but for today, we’re going to pass on that and look at food, the queen, where the bees are in the hive and what all this will tell us. Of course, if you see lots of bees with twisted wings, a mite test isn’t much of a question, but location of the bees, and is swarming or feeding going to be next?
If the bees are in the bottom boxes, you’re probably OK for a bit, but if they are in the top boxes, they are probably out of food, so check for honey right now. Too, if they are in the top, it may be crowded and swarming is on their agenda sooner rather than later…check to population’s location.
How’s the queen? How does her brood pattern look, how much brood is there, and where is the most brood? If a solid pattern, and there’s 6 – 8 frames fuller than not, you probably have a good queen with a hive full of bees thinking swarm. If a poor pattern, or only 2 – 3 frames, a new queen may be in order. Where can you get a queen now, and what kind of queen would you want? And what about feeding pollen sub and small hive beetles?
Right now, the season is being decided for you. Don’t let your bees down.
Check out Honey Bee Obscura's Video Moment on Spring Inspections HERE.
This episode of Honey Bee Obscura is supported by the three generations of beekeepers at Leibengood Family Apiaries, providing Georgia certified, southern raised bee packages and queens to central Ohio each Spring!
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Music: Heart & Soul by Gyom, Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus, original guitar music by Jeffrey Ott
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