Roe Valley Beekeepers Association
Regular checks for wind and storm damage and that entrance is not blocked by snow
Heft the corner of the hive, estimating weight and stores left. Plan for the year ahead
Check stores by hefting the hive. If feeding is required use candy, fondant or bags of sugar. If bees moribund spray with warm thick sugar solution. Dont use thin feed. Take mouseguards off when bees active
Start organising new equipment requirements- frames, feeders, protective equipment etc
Depending on weather and activity carry out first quick inspection. seal dead hives, and arrange to send samples for diagnosis.
Check food reserves and start feeding with liquid feed. Prepare replacement brood frames
When warm enough do first full inspection.
Check for disease, varroa infestation, stores, and queen rightness.. Mark queen if this is your practice
Replace old comb (1/3 each year). Feed stimulating liquid feed
Swarming season starts, so practice regular weekly inspections, looking for polished queen cups, new wax extensions to queen cups etc
Ensure spare hive is ready to collect swarm or for artificial swarming. Add supers. Oil seed rape and early spring flow starts.
Remove spring honey and feed bees (Remember June gap). Weekly checks for signs of imminent swarming. Add additional space for expanding brood. Monitor varroa levels
Continue weekly checks.Depending on weather, feed or add supers. when wasps appear keep a close eye on hives. Plan autumn migration to heather if appropriate
Get bees to heather if weather appropriate. Harvest honey, extract and process. feed bees. Inspect for disease and treat (after honey removal)
Asses stores and feed with thick syrup. Remove queen excluder. put varroa strips or other treatments in. Unite weak disease free colonies
Continue to feed until cluster is formed. Fit mouseguards and weigh down roofs. get ready for the honey show. clean, repair and sterilise surplus equipment
leave bees alone. keep an eye for storm damage
observe hive for storm damage. keep hive entrance clear of snow
Have a rest