Inspecting your hive after a cold winter is one of the most exciting activities for a beekeeper (after honey harvesting of course!) and will help you to discover whether your pre-winter preparations paid off.
Make sure you choose a nice warm day to make it easier for your bees to maintain their optimal brood temperature.
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 support 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.
As things start to ramp up in the apiary, it’s a great time to check your equipment – there’s nothing worse than discovering a hole in your bee suit hood when you’re up close and personal with an open hive!
Inspect your safety equipment and make sure you have everything you’ll need coming into the new season.
Re-oil cedar hives or check to see if your Araucaria paint jobs need a new coat.
Top Tip: When re-treating timber components, use no VOC non-toxic treatments – these can be reapplied while the bees are in the hive. Make sure you wear protective clothing.
Swarming is the natural way bees reproduce and multiply, however, it’s considered good beekeeping practice to take steps to avoid. Feral colonies can pose a risk to the public, your bees, other beekeepers, and honey bee biosecurity in your country.
If your bees swarm, your colony will be reduced as will their nectar resources and your hive may be left vulnerable to pests and diseases.
Like most beekeeping practices, swarm mitigation is about understanding bee behaviour and attempting to meet their needs before they act.
When a colony has made the decision to swarm, sometimes it’s unavoidable.
Luckily, 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.