Despite the weather, this is the first day of spring & with spring, we welcome the bees.
We received word late last week that the bees will be arriving the first week of April & not the end of April, as originally thought. Once we know the exact date, we will let you know.
Since it will be early spring when the bees arrive, there will not be many flowers for them to forage on. For this reason, they will need to be fed with the sugar syrup recipe that came with your hive. Alternatively, you can use the recipe below.
1:2 This formula is a very light syrup, it is made using one part of sugar to two parts of
water. For example, 1 pound sugar to 2 pounds of water. It is used in late winter and early
spring to stimulate the queen to lay eggs and helps the bees draw more comb.
Making the syrup: Bring proper weight of water to a boil then reduce heat to low.
Add proper weight of sugar and stir until dissolved. Never cook your sugar.
In fact suggesting boiling is a bad idea. Just get all the sugar dissolved with non on the bottom.
Let cool and then feed.
Hopefully by this time, you have done some reading on beekeeping for top bar hives. There is lots of information available on the internet, but if you prefer a book, The Thinking Beekeeper by Christy Hemenway contains lots of useful information, including on how to install packages, as well as what to do each time you inspect a hive, including moving the follower boards. While the author describes this process from the point of view of using a center side entrance, she also includes information on those using an end entrance hive and one follower board, which is how our hives operate. We have several copies of this book available at our location in Digby if you are looking for a copy.
If you are looking for any beekeeping supplies, we do carry several items that you will need to keep bees, including suits, gloves, hive tools, smokers, bee brushes & Caution signs. These items are available on our website as well, which will be updated as new items come in. We will be selling an extractor, that can be used for the comb honey, later this spring.
It is a requirement in Nova Scotia, that if you wish to keep bees, you must be registered with the Province. There is no fee involved & it does not take long to receive your registration number. Usually within a couple of weeks. You will also receive a packet of information regarding keeping bees, including how to treat your bees. With our top bar hives, there has been no need to treat our bees, as the bees build their own comb, which means they build a smaller cell size, as opposed to the larger cell size found in the foundation that Langstroth hives use. This smaller cell size is thought to not allow enough time for the varroa mite to develop inside the cell, which is the reason more
beekeepers are either choosing top bar hives or switching to a small cell foundation to use in their Langstroth hives.To download the registration form from NS Agriculture, please go to here.
Now, all we have to do is wait for the weather to turn warmer! Brrrr