Screen Bottom Board

We are having a cold snap this week. After some nice bee flying weather we expect temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s this week. The bee’s prefer above 50 F to fly, although I’ve seen some bees flying in temperatures as low as 45 F (7 C). The danger for this time of year is that the bees are ramping up for spring with lots of brood and new bees emerging every day. The hive can be overwhelmed with young adult bees, and if there isn’t enough nectar coming in, the hive can parish during a cold or rainy period.

As a result, every beekeeper gets a little nervous this time of year. If the queen has laid too many eggs and there isn’t enough nectar stored, they can be in real trouble. This is why many beekeepers feed sugar patties in the spring. It is too cold for sugar syrup, but a block of sugar or fondant on top of the hive can provide that extra food the hive needs on colder days.

There are couple ways to check your hives. Some use internal sensors or thermal cameras to find the cluster. You can also listening for their buzzing with your ear against the side. A simple method I use on some hives is a screened bottom board.

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2023 Inventory

It is time to order some supplies for the year. In preparation, I did a full inventory of my bee stuff last month. I have equipment spread out between the basement, the garage, the shed, and the bee yard, and as my hives have expanded I haven’t kept track of exactly what I have as well as I perhaps should.

So I counted everything everywhere, from boxes to feeders to covers to frames. It turns out I have a lot of stuff. I have never done such an inventory in the past, so it was a bit eye opening.

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