Husbandry notes for March

Early March is a critical time for honeybee colonies. We will now be getting warmer
weather and the queen will increase her laying. In consequence the bees need for
food will increase and because there is little food around they may run out and
starve. Therefore check the stores in your hive on a warmer day. If you have less
than two brood frames of stores you must feed them. Homemade candy or
purchased fondant is OK also feeding with sugar syrup in a slow contact feeder. A
honey or larger screw topped jar pierced with small holes 1/16”” or less will be fine
placed over the holes in the coverboard.

Once you start feeding you should continue to do so. In emergency feed sugar syrup either in a frame feeder or directly into an empty comb. Eggs laid now will become foraging bees in the middle of April – about the time that Oilseed rape makes its first appearance – weather dependent of course.  Make sure you have frames for your supers made up but I suggest you leave putting the foundation in until  just before the first super goes on at the beginning of April to keep your foundation in top condition.

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