Spring is Nearing
There have been a few days this past month where the sun has been coming out with bursts of energy and excitement. The bees have definitely taken notice, and they take every opportunity to stretch their wings. As it hopefully starts to warm up here pretty soon, expect your bees to start coming out and enjoying the weather.
Preparation for Spring
Now that it is officially February it's time to start cracking your beehives open and taking a closer look at what your beehive looks like for springtime. Here are a few things that you should be looking for when cracking your beehives open:
Remember, although it would be nice to spot the queen, it is not necessary in knowing that you have a well functioning, productive beehive. As long as you see open/closed brood, you know she's there somewhere!
- Open/closed brood
- No external bee abnormalities (deformed wing virus..)
- Enough honey reseserves
Another thing that you should do in preparing for springtime is to make sure you have enough equipment if you plan to grow your apiary. Even if you aren't planning on expanding, it is always a good idea to have extra equipment on hand. Here is a list of equipment suppliers you could order from:
Like I had mentioned in the last newsletter, buying stock sugar should be thought about. Beekeepers buy it at the same time in the springtime, and Costco and Wholefoods Service can easily be sold out! It's good to buy and stock up on sugar now rather than later.
Gardening for Pollinators
Now is also the perfect time to be thinking about growing your garden, if you have one. Some greenhouses are starting to put their plants on sale for the springtime. Here are some great websites I found that tell of plants you can purchase that bees and pollinators love:
Here is an information source for pollinators. Honeybees are not mentioned, but native pollinators are!
Flowers are nice to plant for different pollinators, but trees that produce lots of nector are also very beneficial. Pollinators love the Linden tree!
Keep Checking Honey Stores
You can check their stores by how heavy their boxes are and by visually seeing the honey band on the top of the frames.
Remember, if you need to emergency feed them, you need to continually be checking on them every week. Once you start feeding, they are dependent on that food. It's always a good idea to have extra sugar around for your bees!
Events Coming Up
- The March potluck/ silent auction will be be held at the Mount Vernon Senior Center at 6 pm on March 12th
- It would be greatly appreciated by the club if any donations would be made. The proceeds go to the club's budget.
- There will be a queen rearing class in April. The date is TBD. It is free!
- The commercial operation experience will also TBD on both place and time.
- Membership renewals are due in January, and is $12 to re-join
- Annual Beekeeping Apprentice Class: $50 (including club membership): First four Mondays in March
The following are local places to order spring bees:
- Coastal (both nucs and packages)
- Snohomish Bee Company
- Belleville (packages)
- Seth Smith (nucs): Text nuc orders to 360-770-0481
- Rob Rienstra (nucs): $160/nuc (Bellingham)
Seth will be giving his presentation about the Asian Hornet in this next meeting.
Hope to see you all then!