Spring Time is here!

The bees are bringing in pollen and some are already finding nectar! If you installed new packages, continue to feed them for at least 4 weeks or until you see visible honey stores inside the hive. Be aware of robbers; use the entrance reducers on one of the narrower holes for entry.

To learn all about hive management in the Western North Carolina counties, join us on the first Monday night of each month at the Appalachian Beekeepers Club. Meetings are casual and begin at 7:00pm at the NC Agriculture Extension Education Room located at 699 Connahetta Street in Murphy.

Bee Informed!

This Month’s Priorities for Beekeepers
NCSBA News and Events

In the News …

Sunflowers Linked to Reduced Varroa Mite Infestations in Honeybees submitted by Chris Marok
First Vaccine for Honey Bees Approved by USDA, submitted by Don Reynolds
US approves world’s first vaccine for declining honey bees, submitted by Holly Cole

A Note From Don …

Hi Everyone,

Obviously, the cold has finally arrived after a very mild Fall and early Winter, so if you have not done it yet, it is time to add winter protection to you hives.

  • You may want to place entrance reducers on your hives to help keep the cold wind out. This will also help deter mice from getting in you hives. I reduce mine down to a 1 inch opening.
  • If you use screened bottom boards, you could place the plastic inserts all the way in to also reduce the cold air flow into the hive.
  • If your hives are unprotected from the cold north/northwest wind, a wind break of some type will help your bees.
  • If any of you “wrap” your hives with some type of insulation or windbreak material, now is probably the time to do that.
  • Quilt boxes for the top of hives are another good idea. They help insulate the hive and absorb moisture.
  • At some point after this week or so of really cold weather, you should check your hives food stores on the next warmer day and feed if necessary. I would not use sugar water this time of year as it could cause a moisture issue within the hive. Fondant would be a better option. It is easy to make at home or you can order it from some of the larger bee suppliers. Here is a great recipe for making your own candy board (fondant). Steve, from the club, submitted this article which is a good read about providing your bees fondant during the winter months. The fondant recipe we are supplying here is not a cooked sugar so it should be fine, but the article is a great read to educate beekeepers on what to look for in fondant.

 I hope all of you and your families have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. 

Don Reynolds, President