From our Beekeeping Calendar -
Now is the time to open your hives and check for a laying queen, diseases and brood. Only open the hive if the temperature is 50-55 degrees with the sun shining and no wind blowing.
Look again at the honey stores. If less than 15 lbs., then you must feed them. Moistened sugar is the best way to go this time of year. This is done by removing the outer cover and inner covers. Place one sheet of newspaper on top of the frames making sure that it is placed right over the brood. Place some sugar on the paper, wetting it lightly as you go with water using a new spray bottle. Continue adding and wetting sugar until it reaches the top of the inner cover that will be turned upside down on top of it. The sugar is held in place by the newspaper. The bees will remove the paper as they move up to eat the moist sugar. Another way to feed the bees is to make a fondant candy and place directly over the cluster of bees. They will eat up into the candy. A large batch can be made by using 15 lbs. of sugar, 4 cups of water and 3 3/4 tsp. of vinegar. (see Fondant Bee Candy Recipe page).
When checking a hive, the bees should cover 5 frames or so. If not, you might think about uniting the hive with a strong one that has a good queen. This can be done by removing the weak queen from the hive. To unite the two hives, place a sheet of newspaper on top of the frames of the strong hive after...
Read more on our web site