Beekeeping Diary – Notes for March

Hives & Equipment

‘Brood rearing will be well underway by now, so keep checking the stores. It is too early to do an inspection, but you can change the floor board on a nice, mild day.

Gently lift the hive to one side, change or clean the floorboard, and replace the hive. You can do the same with the crown board if it is damp or dirty.

Look at the cluster and count the seams of bees, but do not move the frames at all. Now that the bees are more active, the mouse-guard can be taken off.

Make up any spare equipment you might need, for swarm control or increase. Swarming comes early in good weather, and you don’t want to be caught with everything still flat-packed when you need to use it’

Feeding

‘In early March life in the colony is starting to speed up, the amount of brood increases sharply and a colony can consume up to 5lbs (2.3kg) of stores per week.

It is too early to carry out a full inspection, but you can lift the crown board and look at the seams of bees.

If the colony is small, (2-4 seams of bees), isolation starvation is a possibility. This is where the bees have difficulty in accessing the stores because moving out from the cluster they get too cold. The solution is to move the frames of stores into positions either side of the cluster and start feeding.

Feeding can be ‘dry’ or ‘wet’

Dry feeding with candy means that the food can be left on the hive for a long time without serious deterioration and the bees can use it as and when they want. It does require the bees to have access to water, but this is easier than them having to find forage.

Syrup tends to ferment and can give the bees diarrhoea.

If you want to use candy, Paul Mann, can supply candy from a reputable source in small, handy-sized, returnable containers at £1.00 each.

Paul can be contacted on bpmann@ntlworld.com or on 01202 773844.

Membership Renewal

If you have not renewed your membership yet, please do so as soon as possible by completing the membership application form from the Contact Us section on the website and send with your subscription payment to the Treasurer – please include your email address.

March Evening Meeting

March’s evening meeting is on ‘Pollinating Insects’ and is at 7.30pm at
West Parley Memorial Hall on Tuesday, 17th March 2015.

Bob Menz, News Letter Editor