Finally, the cold weather seems to have come to an end. Over the last month there has been heavy rainfall and the ground is moist. Temperatures have jumped and horse chestnuts and hawthorn are in flower. In consequence the bees are going crazy, and the nectar is flowing into the hives in great quantity.
Somebody once said to me that the difference between a good gardener and a bad gardener was one week. The same is true of beekeeping. Most of us more experienced Beekeepers are aware of what is going on in the environment and with this current flow we are sticking supers of drawn comb onto our hives. Personally, I expect this flow to continue for quite a while. This is because we have had such a rainy time recently and the moisture has gone deep down into the soil. Brood boxes are going to become nectar bound very very quickly. You may have to remove pollen banks or frames of stores and replace with foundation to keep the bees working and busy. You may also need to put your empty super just above your brood box. Or of course if your Bees have not swarmed this is an ideal time to put a super of foundation above the brood box as it will be drawn out very quickly. Consider not putting the queen excluder on for three days to encourage them up if this is the first super of the season for that colony. Then go back after three days and put the queen excluder in between the super and the brood box.
For those of you who are just weekend Beekeepers please be aware that if you do nothing about this flow the brood box will soon become congested, and of course this will trigger the bees to divide, and you will find swarm cells in your colonies in next to no time.
Get those supers on NOW
- Horse chestnut
- Horse chestnut pollen
- A busy colony
- Another busy colony
- A weak nuc that has suddenly become busy
Malcolm Wilkie – 29th May 2021