Well if you just hived your first package this year it’s go time! For many of you the first few weeks of keeping bees is a bit stressful. The bees are working hard to pull out the foundation and the queen is eventually laying but will things look good and will you actually see enough bees for the summer harvests?
Well this is the time of year when you start to get your answers (maybe a bit early for those of you in warmer climates). Most likely about a month after hiving a package you’ll really start to see your bee numbers increase. On warm days suddenly you’ll see so many more bees flying around the hive and coming in with pollen.
For those of you who haven’t managed to find the queen this is great news and a great sign. Even when you can’t find the queen, seeing a big increase in bees means you’ve got new bees hatching… and you can tell without even opening the hive.
So what should you be doing now? First, keep an eye on your bees… are they getting crowded in their box? Is it time for a second deep hive body? If you’ve already put that on it might be time for a queen excluder (if you use one) and a honey super.
Are your bees still using lots of sugar water? In colder places with rain they might be and if so keep giving them sugar water.
For most of us this is a fairly relaxed time of the year. Your big tasks are to make sure your bees have room to move and sugar water if they want it. Beginners you can cut down to a hive inspection every other week if you wish though most of us are far too curious to not look every week!
How are your hives doing now? Have you seen a big population boom? Let us know in the comments below.