Obviously this post is written based on my location and Season,
Adelaide South Australia, Is now getting close to go toward autumn, few colonies already have evicted Drones out of the hives !
Best practise to start with is One of the final inspection before winter,
It should take place in end of April or the beginning of May at the latest.
Pick a sunny day on the warmer side, around Midday. Go sTraight to the Brood box, Thoroughly inspect the brood for disease and, Health of the colony presence of the queen, and stock of protein an nectar and brood box.
Inspection shouldn't take more than 20 minutes!
What to look for during the check up:
• Queens, and Colony strength:
The age of the queen to remember if the queen will need replacement on the next season. Making Sure the Number of bees inside of the hive are high enough to keep the brood and hive warm enough during Winter.
• Honey and Pollen in the hive:
How much storage of honey , will they need supplement feeding. A colony should always be keeping a safe quantity of honey over the winter. As we do not know what that season will be like. Cold and rainy, snowy for some. The like hood of them being able to go a gather the winter nectar during harsh weather days is low. So Safe side of 10kilo left of honey inside the hive is a good !
If you do not have 10 kilos inside the hive be prepared to start feeding straigh away to help them store food already !
how much Pollen do they have inside the hive the total pollen in the hive should be of 20% of the cells filled inside the brood box for a healthy hive. And help with beginning of spring management !
• Pest and disease status,
A complete disease and pest check should take Place, And prevention on eliminating any potential issue is a must!
From SHB, to AFB check make sure you have covered any potential issues that could kill or weakened your colony over winter
• Location and site of apiary,
Are the Bees full sun in winter ? if not do they have still enough ventilation. or tilted on a 10% angle to help with condensation. Placing you hives in full sun is the best thing you can do for your bees in winter ! they need help with keeping the hive warm and what best way than using the sun as free heating !
if you do not have screen board, tilting your hive on a 10% angle will help with evaporation of too much condensation over winter.
Making sure the lids are nicely placed , and sealed to help with too much water is a must!
Making sure you have not placed your hive to close to creeks or location subject to flooding, or any strong winds are the type of weather elements that may weaken the hive.
• Reducing your hive entrance:
Just a simple precaution to take to help guard bees from having to cover a bigger size entrance,
And don't forget to start planting your Spring Flowers Now !!!
April is the month of Sweet peas, Poppies,