Spring

The Idea

Willow.

Spring brings a burst of new life, energy and expansion. Like the plants, a colony awakens to partake of new resources and channels it’s activities toward swarming, which is the colony’s way of propagating itself.

A natural beekeeper follows this progression:

  • unwraps hives
  • feed hungry hives
  • provides water
  • revitalizes equipment
  • manages comb

The Details

Unwrapping

Beyond food, warmth is almost everything to a spring colony. At some point, the winter wraps, which insulated a colony from winter wind and cold, inhibit spring’s warmth. It’s time to get the wraps off and let a little warmth in.

Once the hives are unwrapped it’s easy to access hive:

  • activity
  • weight
  • equipment condition

Feeding

Food, water, and warmth demands are greatest in the spring:

  • brood rearing ramps up
  • clusters break
  • normal hive activities resume
  • forage is limited
  • nights are still cold

Insuring that hives have enough feed is the most critical spring activity a beekeeper must do.

Need to feed a hive? Check out the feeding page.

Water

Honey is not the preferred food for either brood or bees. Nectar or diluted honey is what they want. And it takes water to:

  • prepare brood food
  • maintain broodnest humidity

Bees recycle hive condensation but that’s usually not enough. Foragers take great risk gathering water:

  • during bad weather
  • from marginal or inappropriate sources

So make it as easy as possible for the bees and prevent future hassles by providing a water source that’s:

  • nearby
  • warm
  • clean

Equipment

Winter is tough on equipment. Spring is a great time to switch out damaged equipment. There’s:

  • less weight
  • fewer bees
  • can be incorporated with feeding or comb management

Comb

Spring is a great time to do most comb management chores:

  • there are fewer bees
  • more empty comb
  • causes less disturbance
  • most time for the bees to recover

-bwguy

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