Learn Beekeeping. Want to be as busy as a bee?
It’s beekeeping time. Yep, even with snow on the ground - now is the time to get started.
Winter beekeeping is relaxed, it’s about learning, dreaming and planning. It’s the time for researching and experimenting.
It's the perfect time to build hive bodies, supers, and frames. Painting them is fun too. Spring doesn't seem so far away when you're busy.
I was reading about an experiment published in the Fifth Annual Report of the State Bee Inspector for the year 1916. It was reported that hives painted darker colors
outperformed hives painted white. Our hives have always been white. Boring. Not this year, though. The new hives are bright colors. Vibrant and happy colors. It will be interesting to see if these hives are more productive than the white ones.
Another experiment this spring will be splitting hives using strong brood frames and swarm cells containing new queens.
When the hives were closed up for the winter there was plenty of honey and pollen for feed. This is a critical time of year. Bees can easily starve late in the winter or early in the spring. In the next few weeks the queen will start egg laying again, she'll build up brood.
It was warm enough to open up the hives the other day, just for a quick minute to add pollen patties. The bees were clustered, they looked healthy.
This is a great time of year to learn beekeeping.
Sign up for beekeeping classes, they’re starting soon. There’s plenty of time to learn by taking classes and reading books.
Here are a couple of good books on beekeeping:
Natural Beekeeping by Ross Conrad
The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture Forty First Edition published by The A.I. Root Company
Bee Keeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston and Null
Here’s a list of classes in Iowa and Illinois:
Here's a list by state: