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Beekeepers Blog - March 2022

Beekeepers Blog - March 2022

The March edition of our 2022 blog. Written by the beekeepers here at Thornes.

As expected, March has been a month of more activity in the apiary. With plenty of warm weather towards the end of the month, we were able to go into the hives to check them for stores and see which colonies were doing well and which ones needed a bit more help.

You can see from these pictures that there are plenty of bees in this colony and also lots of them leaving the hive to forage. Bees are covering roughly 7 frames, 8 at a push, which we find acceptable for this time of year.

       

For some of the smaller colonies, we have continued to feed pollen patties as March is still quite early on in the season. We hope this will give them a boost to go strongly into the spring. We have used a mixture of the Thorne Bee Patty and Hive Alive fondant to see if there is any difference in outcome for the bees or if they prefer one over the other.

       

We have had one ‘disaster’ this month. A mouse got into one of our colonies – not through the entrance but through the roof! On examining one colony in a twinstock, one side which would have had 6 frames in had been thoroughly chewed through. You can see here how much wax is missing from these frames!

What we believe has happened is upon last inspection, the crownboard was placed down on top of this nut or seed and then when the roof was placed back on top, it didn’t sit exactly flush, leaving a tiny gap just big enough for a mouse to enter.

       

The mouse has chewed some of the wood in the roof and made quite a mess on top of the crownboard! You can see in the last picture here that the twinstock still has bees in one side, so clearly the mouse just managed to get in one side. All from one tiny little gap in the roof!

        

So that is one lesson learned – double check that crownboards and roofs sit absolutely flush!

Aside from that, the bees look to be coming along nicely and we hope to keep building them up as April progresses. We have noticed there is a field of oil seed rape very close by which will give the bees an excellent source of nectar and pollen heading into the main active season.

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