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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Yakima WA USA
    Posts
    12

    Default 1st Spring Jitters

    I'm going into my first spring and thought I knew what to do, but as it comes down to it I'm still a bit confused. Our day temps are bumping 60/16 but nights are still near 32/0, and should remain this way for about another week or so. We are about 2-3 weeks from cherry bloom then several other fruit orchards in the area will follow. I have many different types of orchards within a mile of me (blueberry, cherry, pear, apple).

    I have about 9 current brood bars and then 4 capped honey bars. I have not opened the hive so do not know the status of the brood bars. So my question is when and where to add bars to expand the brood nest? Also when do I take out those honey bars (which are quite crossed, so I plan to take them all at once) or do I?

    Thank you for your help.

    Jennifer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: 1st Spring Jitters

    They can't draw comb without a flow, so you need to wait until you get a good nectar flow.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: 1st Spring Jitters

    If they are real active I'd say pick a warm day and look at the brood combs.
    If you feed syrup they can draw comb fast and you can open spaces in the brood nest and back the old honey several spaces toward the back or even harvest it ) when you Know they are building up their numbers. If the brood area combs are all covered with nurse bees you can give some room. Remember if a queen feels "crowded"(like blocked from laying with no new open brood combs and full honey combs in the way) then she'll make drones and swarm pretty early in the Spring.If you see drones at the hive entrance I'd guess to make some room.
    I'm zone 8 and have added 2 bars TWICE already to my brood nest as my bees are going gangbusters and we've had plum flow already and now wild manzanita is on.
    If you do not feed, then I "second" what shannonswyatt says!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Yakima WA USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: 1st Spring Jitters

    Thank you for your replies! Since they have plenty of honey, I may wait a week more. I missed the build up for cherries, but can get apples and pears.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: 1st Spring Jitters

    Wow HappyBeeing, I'm surprised that you have had that kind of build up already. Our bees are just now getting real busy. A few weeks ago I had lots of honey and little brood, now I have the opposite. They are getting really active though with the warm temps. In a few weeks they will explode with new bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: 1st Spring Jitters

    I am going into my first spring too.
    There is A LOT of oil seed rape right next to my hive and I am waiting for that to hit.
    Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for my learning curve) we had some early good weather which caused the bees to brood up but since then the weather has not been good at all. It has been warm but misty, rainy, or windy this has knocked the bees for six a bit meaning that haven't been able to get out to forage. The oil seed rape continues to flower unmolested at the moment but as soon as the bees, and the weather, recovers I will have my work cut out for me.

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