March Honey Bee Management

At the time I am writing this, it is mid February.  In the Southeast, we have had mild weather so far. There are some cold days ahead before Spring arrives.  We have the bees bringing in pollen the last of January.

More bees starve to death in March then any other time of the year.  The queen starts to lay eggs, thereby using more honey to feed the young larvae.  We will need to feed a 1 to 1 sugar which is one gallon  of water to 5 pounds of sugar. With feeding a lot of hives, use 25 pounds of sugar, 4 Tablespoons of Honey-B-Healthy, to 5 gallon of sugar water.  There are several types of feeders you can use; Boardman Frame Feeder which sets in the hive or a Top Hive Feeder.  Just make sure  the weather is warm enough for bees to consume the sugar water.  If March is too cold to feed sugar water, you can feed winter patties with some pollen substitute.

In March is a good time to reverse your hive bodies.  The bees will be in the top hive body and the bottom        will be empty.  This is normal.  This will give the queen a place to lay more eggs.  Reverse again in two weeks weather permitting.

Aprils’ Blog will be on Swarms and ways to prevent Swarming