The Apiary in February

As we move into February and the days get longer, the colonies will start to increase their breeding patterns as the older winter bees start to die off or fail to return from any foraging trips,  weather permitting.

There are plenty of spring flowers about as the month advances but the wet and windy weather has prevented bees from leaving their hives to obtain this essential pollen.

Hazel Catkins
Daphne
Viburnum Bodnantense
Mahonia Charity
Bergenia
Iris Unguicularis – Winter Flowering Iris

What we need to ensure is that Woodpecker protection is around the hives and that they have not blown over in the Hurricane force winds we endured in the middle of the month.

If you have any concerns about food shortages a lump of Fondant above the cluster will  help them to survive these next few difficult weeks.

It is still to early to be examining brood chambers and this should not be ventured until the end of March once you are able to wear a T-shirt outside as temperatures rise and days get longer.

But we can all prepare with ensuring we have clean sterile equipment ready for swarming or splitting hives to prevent swarming  as it started in April last season.

Have you plenty of supers  as two per hive will be insufficient once the nectar flow starts and Bee colonies expand.

I use wood from Pallets to make  simple equipment for use around the Apiary and they are ideal for stands, floors and roofs.

Pallets for Dismantling

Beetradex is at Stoneleigh Show-ground on Saturday 12 March and tickets can be purchased cheaply in advance but be aware Thornes and Maisemore, two of the big equipment suppliers will not be present, not sure why.

But there will be plenty of equipment for sale, hopefully some at bargain prices and you can always try on your new bee suit or have measurements taken for made to measure.

There are also book stalls, lectures and  decent catering facilities  for a “Noggin and Natter” about all things Beekeeping.

Next Month: The season really gets started.

The Apiary bathed in sunshine

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