Bees through the Seasons

DE15_bees-Crowded-House.jpgIt’s official. It has been a cold spring.

So the weather keeps changing — from cold nights to warm days, to cold days, to cloudy rainy days, and back again. Your bees are in full flight getting things cracking along for summer. They are breeding and getting pretty crowded in their hives.

What nectar and pollen they do manage to get is eaten or used to feed brood and they gradually run out of space. And the next the thing you have is a swarm. A large number of the bees take off usually with a queen and try to find a home. The remaining bees stay behind often with a poor queen or no queen at all.

Sometimes it is hard to prevent swarming but there are some minimum measures you can take.

  • Make sure your hive has enough spare space by putting extra supers on.
  • Regularly search and find swarm cells and remove them.
  • Split your hive into two using a new mated queen or queen cell.
  • In case of requiring help to catch a swarm, contact your local Buzz Club on 06 364 0555

Urban bees will be better off; enjoying the spring flowers and the newly bursting out roses, catnip and lavender. On the farms, buttercup is everywhere and clover flowers are showing but not yet yielding. The willow and ivy has been and gone. In some locations, close to bush, Kamahi trees will be getting ready to flower. This time of year can be a hungry time depending on where your hives are located, It could also continue, particularly if the unsettled weather pattern happens as a predicted. In this case, it will be important to continue to feed sugar and perhaps pollen substitute.

Varroa strips should be all out in the days to come and remember not to have strips in your hive when collecting for human consumption.

American foul brood AFB may rear its ugly head at the is time of year so make sure your hive has been inspected either by yourself or a registered beekeeper as this disease is highly infectious.

In preparation for December make sure you have spare honey boxes ready and enjoy your beekeeping as we swing in to the productive season.