It has been a long cold winter here in PA. Jack and I have spent the past several weeks taking an evening beekeeping class at our local community college. We have learned a lot and I feel confident that I am ready to take over as beekeeper.
Yesterday it was quite sunny and the temperature neared 40 degrees. I decided to lift the outer cover of our 5 beehives and look for signs of life. Three out of 5 hives had bees clustered around the opening on the inner cover. This is quite a stressful time of year for the bees. The queen has hopefully started to lay eggs and brood is hatching....getting the colony's numbers built up in preparation for Spring's nectar flow. With winter honey stores low or gone, it is the time of year that can result in lots of casualties from starvation.
With that in mind, I purchased 10 pounds of honey at the grocery store and poured a bit into each of the hives, to give them an emergency feeding. I will most likely do this a few more times until warmer weather arrives and I can fully inspect the hives. At that point, I will attach a syrup feeder to each hive and feed them until the first blossoms of spring show their faces.