Spring is the most exciting time of year for beekeepers

I'm a beginner

It’s time to get busy in the apiary...

As bee activity starts to ramp up in response to the increase in temperature and daylight hours, beekeeper’s are called to action in the apiary with brood inspections, splits and hive maintenance.

Performing your first hive inspection of the season after a cold winter is one of the most exciting activities for a beekeeper (after honey harvesting of course!) and is when you’ll discover whether your pre-winter preparations have paid off.

Sometimes you’ll find that everything isn’t as you’d expected – don’t worry, we’re here to support you if your bees have done the unexpected!

During early spring inspections, the advantages of owning two hives for side by side comparisons often comes into play – you’ll learn from each colony’s unique temperament plus be able to offer support from a stronger colony if one is ailing.

When inspecting, be on the lookout for good population numbers, a queen, healthy brood patterns and honey stores, and most importantly, look closely for pests and diseases and treat accordingly.

If you need help with your first spring inspection, we’re here to help! We have a swarm of resources available and a knowledgeable team on hand to offer support.

The benefits of expanding your apiary

Apart from being able to harvest and share more honey, owning two hives ramps up your opportunities for learning.

Bees are fascinating! Each colony is its own unique microcosm – with two hives you can compare colony strength, productivity, health and support ailing hives with queen cell transfers or brood if needed.

If you’re short on space, setting up a hive for a friend is an excellent opportunity to inspect and learn while sharing the workload.

Grow your apiary with our newest hive

Our latest innovation, the new Flow Hive 2+ has new features to help you take great care of your bees, including a much-requested Entrance Reducer, redesigned Hive Stand with Flow Ant Guards™, a more durable and sustainable multifunctional tray, PLUS all the features which have made the Flow Hive 2 our best-selling hive.

If you're hoping to expand your apiary this season with our newest hive you’ll need to be quick – wait-lists are filling fast.

Spring preparation for colony expansion

Spring preparation for colony expansion

Spring preparation for colony expansion

Experienced beekeeper’s know that it’s important to be prepared early by getting your brood frames assembled and your spare brood boxes built. With warmer weather, your queen will amp up her egg-laying which means your colony will expand. You don’t want to get caught out by a colony that’s ready to reproduce with nowhere to house them!

Will you split your hive?

If you have a large, healthy hive it is possible to create a new colony from it by making what is called a split. The basic concept is that you take a portion of an established colony and transfer it to a separate hive thereby creating two colonies. They'll each have sufficient worker bee populations, stores and their own queen.

Monitoring your splits

It’s a good idea to monitor your splits closely in the days following their creation. Make sure each has enough adult bees to care for the brood you have given them and take action if they do not.

Brood Frame preparation

“Beekeepers have many opinions on which is the best method. I am a total convert to foundationless frames. It’s a really tedious task waxing and wiring frames. It’s so much easier to let the bees build their own. It leaves the bees making their natural cells sized perfectly for their brood and it’s beautiful to watch them hang their natural comb in their brood nest.

Having said that, in some short season regions it is important to encourage the bees to get to the nectar flow as quickly as possible. It may be better to provide wax foundation as the bees will complete their brood comb more quickly” - Cedar Anderson

The thrill of a swarm catch

Catching a swarm of bees is one of the most joyous parts of beekeeping and it is an easy and free way to bolster your apiary! At this stage, they seldom have comb and are just a cluster of bees. Without the complication of comb, a beekeeper can easily scoop, shake or lower the swarm into their equipment and bring them back to their apiary.

Need extra help?

There’s lots to learn when you start out beekeeping!

Spring time is crucial and with so much conflicting advice available online, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

So, in conjunction with the world's experts, we’ve created TheBeekeeper.org

It lets you fast-track your learning easily and enjoyably. Learn in your own time with high-quality videos explaining what you need to know in order to feel confident looking after your bees.

Share with a friend

If last year has taught us anything, it’s that exploring the world in your own backyard can be such a source of joy.
Keeping bees can help you to become more attuned to the world around you.

Help a newbee set up a hive or split your colony with a friend! In addition to gaining a new sense of enthusiasm, it’s a great way to speed up your beekeeping knowledge.

Our Refer-A-Friend program allows your friend to receive €50 off their first hive, and you receive a sweet €50 reward.

If you don’t have a beekeeping buddy, consider linking up with someone local on the Flow Community Forum.