Around this time of the year, I start to get the first pangs of spring fever. For me, the only action that helps control spring fever is to visit bee hives on a warm day.
Today, all four Clermont hives had bees flying. The volume was not as high as we were seeing in late summer but I’ll take what I can get. As a bonus, a few bees were returning with pollen. I have no idea what would be the source because recent hard frosts should have stopped flowers.
They are truly amazing little creatures!
I’m starting to plan for 2018 Clermont beeyard activities and would like any suggestions you may have. After conversations with several BONS members, I’m planning to focus on 2nd year activities leaving 1st year basic beekeeping instruction, hive assembly and package installing to the BONS classes, woodenware assembly weekend, field day and package delivery.
So what does that leave for the Clermont group to explore in 2018?
- Hive management with emphasis on maximum hive strength and health
- Queen productivity
- Ample space for nectar and pollen in the brood area
- Brood health and pattern
- Swarm control
- Preparation for winter
- Mite control and an awareness of mite levels as the season progresses
- Drone brood removal for early season mite control
- Mite carried diseases and how to identify these diseases
- Treatment and scheduling for mite control
- Control of other issues
- Small hive beetle
- Yellow Jackets and other troublesome insects
- Feeding of syrup and protein supplement during midsummer dearth
- Yard growth and hive productivity
- Production of early spring nucs with purchased queens
- Chunk comb honey production
- Production of extractable honey
- Local queen production from swarm cells
- Capture of swarms using swarm catch boxes
- Use of queen castles for banking queens
- Re-queening and queen marking techniques
- Production and over wintering of 5 frame nucs for 2019
- Other bee related activities as required