At the March meeting Jesse spoke about different swarm traps that can be used. Now is the time to get your swarm traps up. Doug said that when the day time temps are 50 – 57 degrees is when the queen starts laying for summer bees. Swarms tend to happen when temps are 62 degrees and up.
To prevent swarming it is important to keep a close eye on your hives now. Making sure that there is enough room for the queen to lay and the worker bees to store honey and pollen. Jesse suggested that if the bottom box is empty (i.e. No eggs or larvae) remove this box and move the upper box(s) down onto the bottom board. Then place an empty box on top. Giving the queen more room to lay.
The hives look full but they are full of winter bees and the queen is now laying for summer bees.
Keep an eye out for queen cells as this is another indication that your have will swarm.
With the trees and the Hen bit blooming now the bees have nectar and pollen.
If you are looking to make splits make sure that you have a matted queen ready. Place your packaged queen 3/4″ down between the frames.
There are many ways to catch a swarm. Get your swarm traps up now.
If you don’t have any swarm traps up and you see a swarm if it is in a tree you can use a bucket with a lid. You can also lay down a tarp and place a nuc box on the tarp and either shake the limb letting the bees fall onto the tarp or cut the limb down and then shake the bees into the nuc box. Making sure that you get the queen. A cardboard box can also be use to retrieve the bees. Then place the bees into a hive box.
Installing packaged bees: The American Bee Journal has recommendations on how to install packaged bees. Remember to always slide your frames out from each other so as not to roll your queen. Feed new bees for 6 weeks.
When making a large batch of sugar water, Joann suggested adding cider vinegar or bleach to your sugar water to keep it from rancid.
Remember to plant some flowers for the bees.
If you get a swarm please take a picture and show us.
Next Meeting: April 17th
6 p.m. Hive inspection
7 p.m. Meeting