Late winter

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

Bees have had a cold and wet winter this year and hopefully have not used up all their honey stores to get them through. We are now approaching the most dangerous time of the year for hives to survive.
Queens will now have commenced egg laying as the daylight hours are increasing and field bees will be foraging for pollen to feed the hatching larvae. Now is the time to lift up the back of the hive and feel if there is still some weight in the box. If the box is really light, it may be necessary to feed the bees with sugar syrup or dry white sugar to keep them alive. Some queens will produce large amounts of brood and the hive can starve out trying to feed this brood, particularly in the spring when sudden cold snaps prevent the bees from flying. It can all look very encouraging when there are sunny days and the bees are flying into trees full of blossom, but it can suddenly go very wrong if the beekeeper is not vigilant.