Beekeeping ahead of spring
Winter is the quietest season for beekeepers, with the bees foregoing foraging to keep warm in the hive while feeding on honey stores.
The bees’ reduced activity offers beekeepers the opportunity to get ready for the season ahead. Before spring, check your protective wear and hiveware. New beekeepers are advised to wear a veil, overalls, boots and gloves when checking the hives. A smoker is essential too, helping calm the bees as you open hives, plus a hive tool to easily pull the hive components apart, scrapping them clean of honey.1
Several factors are considered when selecting hive sites. If in town, situate the hives somewhere discreet where the bees flight path won’t bother neighbours. Rural sites are often agreed with orchardists or farmers, so discuss any potential hazards on the property and a location away from livestock. Give the owners your contact details so you can be notified if the hives become damaged.1
Consider climatic conditions too. Ideally, locate your hives in a sheltered position that receives sunlight year-round, particularly from early morning, to maximise the bees’ foraging time. The
area also needs to be dry and not prone
Assess site’s proximity to pollen and nectar sources. Nectar and pollen are available for spring foraging to support the development of a strong colony and reduce the need to feed sugar syrup in autumn.1
Go online to store.pggwrightson.co.nz, or visit your local Fruitfed Supplies store to view our range protective wear and equipment in readiness for spring.
Article supplied by Fruitfed Supplies
1 Matheson, A., & Reid, M. (2011). Practical beekeeping in New Zealand (4th ed.). Exisle Publishing.