I searched but didn't find the answer I need. Does anyone know what day I should start stimulating my bees to raise brrod for the spring flow here in western PA? I have gotten so much conflicting info locally. Thanks
The age at which a worker becomes a forager is 21 days old. The time table from egg to emerged worker is 21 days.
So, if you want to stimulate the brood rearing to get foragers for a flow, you must start more than 42 days prior to the flow.
I do splits (3rd week of April) 2 3 weeks before my main spring flow starts (2nd week of May), which is also the start of my swarm season. I will start stimulative feeding of lite syrup and pollen substitute after this bit of predicted below zero weather is over.
I will have hive populations that can handle the early split weather and collect a honey crop a few weeks later.
I feed using an empty box on top with Jar feeders. I place the jars on the top bars. This allows the cluster to feed with out having to break up. All of my hives are wrapped for solar gain. The felt paper wrap gets / allows them to feed in colder weather.
NHBees, thank you
I would say that your blooms in spring are about a two weeks ahead of where I am.
However, I dont know your area and what type of sources you have.
The worst case situation, is that if you start to feed too early, you will have to feed a little longer and watch over crowding in the hive.
Take a look at your soft maples and pussy willows. Soft maples bloom first and several weeks ahead of the hard maples. You could also ask one of the guys that saps about where the soft maples are at and when they bud out.
Another resource could be the County Ag Agent. He coud give you some ideas on blooms, times, and what is around.
The maples and pussy willows are good early soucres of pollen / nectar for your hives.
>You could also ask one of the guys that saps about where the soft maples are at and when they bud out.
Thanks for the advice, the sap buckets are out, but we are in a cold snap this week so no sap yet
. I know the local sap guy taps right after Valentines day then waits for the warm up. I expect a warm up after the storm comes through early next week.
Pussy willows are around mid March-first of April I think (depends on the winter), I will check better. I know the dandelions usually start 3rd week of april and really get going last week of april. Apple bloom is May 15th.
In the past when I have bought local Nucs the first batch is ready around 2nd week in May, next batch 3rd week of May. Working backwards that puts split time 2nd or 3rd week of April?
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