Honey Do Beekeeping Checklist for February
February can be a frustrating month. You feel like you are out of the woods as far as winter is concerned, but your bees are still fighting the good fight. This month is all about taking advantage of the few nice days and making them count. Any temp over 50 degrees is your new BFF, as that is when you are most likely to see your ladies out and about taking care of business.
- Take advantage of any days over 50 degrees and 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- you will usually see poop scattered on the top of the hive, or on the snow in front of the hive.
- The warmer it is the more intense of an investigation you can make. If temps near 60 you can open the hive for a brief period and 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 are out of honey but still alive, begin feeding. We recommend a 1:1 water:sugar ratio in spring, as they will be using it for immediate energy and not storing it for winter. Don’t fill the jar all the way, as the solution could still freeze. Check on it whenever the temps are high enough to make sure the holes aren’t clogged.
- If your bees didn’t survive winter, we offer our condolences. It can be very hard to lose a hive, we know. Take comfort in the fact that the work of your deceased hive will give your new hive stronger start.
- If your hive didn’t survive, now is the time to place a deposit down on new bees, to be sure you get an early start in spring.