Spring beehive management is important for beekeepers and bees alike. Clean up from winter and get surviving colonies set up to thrive. Feed, if necessary, watch out for potential swarming, install new bees and give your bees additional space as needed.
A queenless hive needs prompt attention to avoid the loss of an entire colony. This article describes how to assess if the hive is queenright and what to do if it is not.
Managing beehives is a year-round task; however, the level of work and time required will vary widely with seasonal changes. Learn what you can do to help your bees not just survive, but thrive.
A hive tool is a multipurpose implement designed for beekeeping. Hive tools come in different designs, but all serve two primary functions. First, hive tools separate and lift hive components stuck together by propolis. Second, they scrape off excess propolis and comb. A hive tool is the most used beekeeping tool.
Set up your beehive in advance so you can install the bees as soon as possible after they arrive. A starting Langstroth hive only needs a bottom board, entrance reducer, one deep brood box, and the inner and outer covers. Adding a brood box between the covers provides room for a top feeder.
Beekeeping protective clothing consists of veils to protect your eyes and face; beekeeping suits and jackets for most of your body; gloves for hands; and boots for feet and ankles. The amount of protective clothing you wear depends on your comfort level and what you are doing with the bees.
Begin your beekeeping education with various sources: beekeeping books, courses (in-person or online), beekeeping associations, beekeeping blogs and forums, and YouTube videos. Books and courses are the best places to start as they present information in an organized, orderly fashion.
Absconding bee colonies abandon a hive leaving little behind, save some very young bees and small amounts of brood and food. Learn the reasons why so you can avoid it.
A swarm trap (or “bait hive”) is a container designed and situated to attract bee swarms. We will tell you how to get “free” bees with swarm traps.
Varroa mite treatments have limitations (temperature, brood, population, and honey flow), and should be varied to avoid resistance. Choosing the best miticide requires a decision tree based on circumstances. Using our tree below, formic and oxalic acids are best for full season coverage.