Honey Do Beekeeping Checklist for February
February can be a frustrating month. It may feel like you’re out of the woods as far as winter’s concerned, but your bees are still fighting the good fight. This month is all about making the few nice days count. Any temperature over 50°F is your new best friend, as that’s when you’ll see your ladies out and about taking care of business.
- Take advantage of any days over 50°F to go check on your hive. You want to see bees flying around and going to the bathroom. If you can’t be home when temps are the highest, look for evidence that the bees were out—usually, poop scattered on top of or near the front of the hive is a good sign
- The warmer it is, the more thorough investigation you can make. At around 60°F, you can open the hive briefly to assess the remaining honey stores and clear out the dead bodies that accumulate over the winter
- Condense honey stores into one area, and, if they’re out of honey but still alive, begin feeding. We recommend a 1:1 water to sugar ratio in spring since the bees will be using it for immediate energy and not storing it. Don’t fill the jar all the way, as the solution could still freeze. Check on it whenever temperatures are high enough to make sure the holes aren’t clogged.
- If your bees didn’t survive winter, we offer our condolences. It’s hard to lose a colony. Take comfort in the fact that the work of your deceased colony will give your new colony a stronger start
- If your colony didn’t survive, now’s the time to put down a deposit on new bees so you can get an early start in spring