The purpose of this monthly piece is to give the reader some insight as to what is happening inside the honey bee colony at Beale Wildlife Park, and what activities the beekeeper is undertaking month by month. It is not intended to be comprehensive.
The Apiary in February
The bees are still clustered but the queen will lay more eggs each day. As days get longer and warmer, the bees may be flying more, seeking sources of pollen. Flowers are coming out, snowdrops, crocuses and hazel catkins are providing the pollen. There may be crumbs of wax underneath the hive as stores are uncapped. Insulation under the roof can be added to help the bees raise the brood temperature. The bees are using more stores now and the beekeeper mustn’t let them go short. Brood rearing will usually re-start this month. Water should be available in a sunny spot.
Check all the hives for damage, particularly after storms and high winds. Check the hives for food, especially if the weather is poor, feeding fondant as necessary. Monitor hive entrance for build up of dead bees and blockage.