Early Spring Help by Tamsin Harris

Early Spring Help by Tamsin Harris

March 1st is the first day of meteorological Spring and there will certainly be signs within your colony of bees that they are aware of changes in the weather.

Daylight hours are increasing, the sun is higher in the sky and Spring blossoms are providing the protein packed pollen needed for the growth of the developing larvae. Egg yolk yellow, bright orange or just plain white pollen loads will be seen on the hind legs of a few of the returning foragers. This is a good sign that your colony is functioning well and responding to weather windows in order to gather fresh food.

As the days start to draw out your queen will increase the number of eggs she lays. These will hatch after 3 days and the ever growing number of brood (larvae and pupa) will be be in need of good quality, and continuous sustenance.

Help for your hardworking queen and the developing brood is something you can give quite readily. It is far too early to think of lifting the crownboard and inspecting your colony, but you can certainly give them consistent access to the protein they need for healthy growth. BeeNectar pollen substitute, with a 3-4cm hole cut in the bag, can be placed with the hole side down, over the feed hole in the crownboard. Alternatively you can make your own patties using Ultra Bee Dry and Invertbee. This ensures that the worker bees can have access to the protein for as long as the weather is warm enough for them to break their cluster and move to the feed.

The cold NE winds can prevent the bees flying in search of early pollen but the warmth of the sun on the hive means that bees are going about their daily activities inside, but with no fresh food coming in. With the minimal amount of intervention you can give all those hungry mouths a boost of protein and carbohydrate at a time when the colony will benefit immensely.

Remember that even though you are just going to lift the roof and pop a pollen patty on, it would be advisable to at least wear a bee jacket, or a full suit, if that is what you have.

Bees do nothing invariably, they readily catch us unawares with their defensive response to our well meaning interventions, so it is better to be prudent than merely courageous!

Get ready for Spring by stocking up on our Feed and Treatment products.

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