A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: March

| 3/15/2016 9:23:00 AM

I was hoping to get this blog out earlier in March, but like many beekeepers I know, we also make maple syrup. The sap ran like crazy from mid-February until this past week. Now that I’m spending less time in the sugar shack, I can get writing about what has been happening in the Apiary during the month of March.

Critical Time of Year

I went out during the first week of March to check the hives. March is a very important time to do regular checks of the hives, weather permitting. In this area, the queens begin brood production in February, and the population of the hive begins to increase. This means more mouths to feed, and using up the honey stores more quickly. This occurs just as the hive is nearing the end of winter, but before there is much, if anything, blooming yet.

This is the time of year when some hives might need a little help – adding extra frames of honey, fondant (a type of sugar “candy”),  or even putting on a feeder if it is warm enough.

Two Hives Smaller

Most of the hives were doing great, but unfortunately, I found that one of the hives had died since my last inspection. It always makes me a little sad when a hive dies, but I try to remind myself that death is a part of nature, and in this case, losing only one out of sixteen hives is still pretty good. The wooden hive in the image to the right is the one that didn't make it.

Performing a Beehive "Autopsy"

When a hive has died, it is a good idea to do a “postmortem” exam to try and narrow down what may have caused the hive to perish. If you know what caused it, you may be able to avoid it with another hive.

3/26/2016 7:53:55 PM

We have had a very mild winter here in Northern NH. When we checked on our bees in the beginning of February I was surprised to see them doing so well. I was able to feed them sugar cakes also. I made a video on it. https://youtu.be/6sF8OysCk3A

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