This workshop, like the autumn/winter one, is a chance to get ready for the upcoming season, and compare experiences with other beekeepers before the work begins.
I noticed the willow near me has just started to burst its buds, meaning the bees will have some much-needed nectar and pollen in the next few weeks. The miserable autumn we have here in Sussex will mean the bees are short on stores, so how, when, and why we check them needs some consideration, which we will cover on the course. Spring forage is so important for all bees and other pollinators, so assessing the quality and quantity in your area is vital for the health of your new brood. The nutritional content of the fresh nectar and pollen from spring plants will really help your colony at this key time.
Some stronger colonies might be preparing to swarm, and this needs to be managed well before the time arrives. Knowing where to site bait hives is essential whether or not you are carrying out swarm prevention, as artificial swarms are by no means a guarantee that your bees won’t throw a natural one. I have some pots of propolis to smear on new frames to make them more attractive to scout bees. Splits can be done once spring build up has commenced in earnest, but the timing of this is important so as to work with the bees and not check them too much.
Chalkbrood can be a problem in spring, and we will discuss comb changes and checkerboarding as both have advantages and disadvantages. If your bees have overwintered on a lot of honey, there might be a frame or two to remove to give them some more room. Keep an eye out for fields of winter rape which can bloom suddenly and prodigiously.
This course is for people that have (or have had) bees, or would like more detailed information following on from the Introductory Plus. It’s £40 per person for 2 hours, and if you have attended my other courses, you can come along for half price.
- 22nd February
- 28th March
- 4th April