March 2021 Apiary Notes by Wally Thrale

The active beekeeping season is just around the corner and it is surprising how suddenly it starts. As we’ve seen recently, our weather has dramatic swings. Earlier this week was spring like and bees were flying well; the next day we were battered by a storm.  Similarly, the weather often changes like that in early April and the bees are raring to go. Incidentally, mouse guards should have been removed by now. Leaving them can knock the pollen load off incoming bees.

So now is the time to ensure spare kit is ready and on site if possible, especially supers. Over the winter I bought new brood frames which are partially assembled; they just need a sheet of foundation which is a fairly speedy process. Stockists still have spare brood and super frames if more are needed but they are in limited supply, especially foundation.

Recently I sent emails saying some colonies were becoming light so do keep checking hive weights. Some colonies seem to be eating more than others, perhaps because they are raising more brood. Do feed with syrup if you think the colony is feeling light. Looking at my bees recently some colonies have a lot of bees in the brood box. Towards the end of March I shall place a super over the crown board on these populous colonies to provide space for emerging brood. Crowding a brood box early in the year is a swarm trigger which will result in bees swarming during April. No honey from those colonies for a while.