In a two box, langstroth hive, your queen should be in the bottom box laying, and the top box should be full of the honey the bees need for winter stores. It’s important to give the queen enough room to lay eggs in the bottom box. This is called "setting the brood nest" for the fall.
Track the flow in your area and your hive’s development during the year. Over the years, you will begin to see a pattern. Track how many boxes you place and at what time during the season. You can do this with pen and paper or use an online app.
Pay attention to when crops are being seeded if your hives are located in rural areas. You will be able to plan for when the crops are likely bloom.
Queen bees do a lot of work in their short lives. A queen lays 175,000 to 200,000 eggs each year! In two to three years, the queen is usually at the end of her ability to lay enough eggs for a colony to succeed. So, what is requeening and what are the five signs to look for?
If you do a washing test and you have 3 or more mites/100 bees (3%), you will need to do treatments. It's important to follow your provincial apiculturist guidelines to understand the preferred treatments in your area (AB, BC, Honey Council).
It’s spring, and new beekeepers always wonder when and what to feed. In the spring, it's important to provide both pollen patties and liquid feed for balanced nutrition. Think of it like steak and potatoes for your bees.
If you are a beginner beekeeper, knowing if there are enough honey stores can be hard to figure out on your very first overwintered hive check. The simplest way to check if there are enough stores is to gently lift your hive from the bottom board (without disturbing the hive too much).If it is very light and easy to lift, you DO NOT have enough stores.
Every province and city has different regulations, but most require all or at least one of these. Beekeeping falls under agriculture and for important reasons. The government sets out regulations for the beekeeping industry, monitors disease and supports beekeepers with current information and inspections as needed. Check your provincial and municipal government websites to see what is required.
Bees that overwinter live almost entirely inside the hive. Bees usually only leave for cleansing flights on days when temperatures are above 14°C. It is risky leaving the hive on days less than this because their wings can freeze at 10°C, and they risk not making it back to the hive.
COVID and beekeeping in 2021. There may still be some delays with shipping bees and equipment, but it shouldn’t be as extreme as it was in 2020 due to the air travel restrictions. Hopefully more live bees will be coming through from New Zealand for early spring for most companies as planned.
You may have found yourself going into overwintering and still struggling with Varroa mites this year. It is extremely important to treat your mites as it can weaken your hive or ultimately kill your hive.
Other great ideas. Beekeeping books like Beekeeping in Western Canada, beekeeping magazines (like Hive Lights or Bee Culture). Find a special journal to write their beekeeping field notes throughout the year.
Medicated Syrup with Fumigilan-B. If you need to treat your bees for Nosema, there is an easy way to do it with your syrup. Simply add the Fumigilan-B to the syrup mixture at your last feed. In our last Meet The Beekeeper, we showed you how to add it to a plastic bag, and place it on the inner cover hole (watch our video at 24:50).