Early summer is a season of recovery from winter’s deprivation. Abundant spring resources and climatic warmth have fueled a couple of brood cycles filling colonies with healthy, young bees.
Early spring forage begins to disappear with the decline of the dandelion bloom. It may be several more weeks before any clover becomes available. Yet, a healthy colony is at its prime. It is a critical time as even the best colonies:
- can get short of feed and become hungry
- will want to swarm
- need more comb management
- need moved to summer pasture
It’s not uncommon to have a nectar dearth immediately after dandelion bloom. A large colony might put up surplus honey on a spring flow. And if bad weather restricts foraging, a large colony can quickly consume all that surplus and more. They can get hungry, fast. And if not fed, a large, prosperous colony on the of swarming can be fatally damaged by hunger. Check out my feeding page.
Swarming is the early summer goal that all healthy, vigorous colonies pursue. Lots was written about swarming. For my thoughts, check out my swarming page.
Now is the time to assure your comb is in the best shape possible so that it’s easy to quickly work a hive . Comb will become increasing harder to work with due to:
- hotter summer temperatures
- new comb
- heavier nectar flows
- increasing larger bee populations
Need ideas on top bar hive comb management? Check out the comb page.
Moving hives is a often a necessity, as few locations in our modern world, can provide optimum forage for every season. Hives are often moved for a variety of other reasons too.
Comb attachments are a beekeeper’s best friend when moving top bar hives. They should be as intact as possible during a move. So, if possible, never work a top bar hive just before moving it. Always allow the bees enough time to repair any cut comb or attachments before moving them.
Remove all feeders or anything else stored inside a top bar hive. Loose items rattle around and can destroy an surprising quantity of comb.
Top bar hives are bulky, heavy and hard to move. They can’t be broken down into components, to reduce weight. So, plan the move accordingly. Get a truck or trailer. Use some mechanical means, or get someone to help lift them. Like all beehives, they are, at best a pain to move.