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Honey Do Beekeeping Checklist for March

March is a tricky month. Temperatures can fluctuate greatly, and there’s not much for your bees to forage. Colonies often survive this far and die in early spring. There are a few causes for this, and only so much you can do to prevent it. March is all about monitoring, feeding, cleaning, and hoping for the best. If they make it through March, they’re probably in the clear.

CHECKLIST

  • Begin feeding a 1:1 ratio of water to sugar, and monitor your bees closely. If you have multiple colonies and some didn’t survive, relocate the honey from the deceased colonies into the live ones. This is called load-balancing
  • If your colony didn’t survive, perform a post-mortem. Carefully look over the colony and try to find out why they died. If there’s no honey in the hive, the bees likely starved. If the cluster died near the edge of the walls, it might have been from exposure. If you see evidence that mice infiltrated the hive, that could be the cause. The cause is not always clear, but inspecting the hive offers insight. We have videos in Beepods Lab that deal with these issues
  • Clean out the hive to prepare for new bees, but leave your mouse guards in place as mice may still be looking for shelter and food. Cleaning means removing the dead bodies, which you can do by carefully removing the vent system on the bottom and letting the bodies fall to the ground
  • If your colony survived, do your best to clean out dead bodies and assess usable comb for the upcoming season. Remove any comb that’s damaged and save it for future wax rendering

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NOTE: This checklist was created for beekeepers specifically in Midwest, USA.  It may need to be adjusted for other beekeepers based on weather, location and other environmental factors.  This list will be updated and variations will be created over time as needed.  Always be sure to check Beepods.com for updated lists or information in the Members Resource Area.