The maintenance of a hive box is not as easy as you think.
Many people install the hive and think that is the most complicated part.
It is not.
Hive box maintenance can be challenging because it requires constant care and attention. Else there will be no honey and later no bees for your to get.
You got to put in the work, to get the honey.
Hive box maintenance should begin without delay subsequent to the installing it. It allows for you as a beekeeper to create an ideal environment for your bees to be more productive.
And you want to secure the structure so that the bees don’t abandon the hive for somewhere else.
Now it is important to note that the care of your hive, will vary greatly depending on the season. Any beekeeper will tell you this.
And also on the type of hive that you have.
Spring demands more of hive box maintenance.
As you read through this article, you will identify and learn the importance of hive box maintenance. It will teach some good skills in maintaining your apiary structure and in the long run, get some tasty honey.
Starting your Hive Box Maintenance
Photo credit to YouTube
Winter is gone and spring is in full force. It is time for the bee population to start replenishing its forces.
So, it is also the best time to get some hive box maintenance done.
With warmer temperatures now being consistent, you can open up the hive box and bit. This is fine, so long as you are experiencing temperatures in the high fifty’s.
During the winter, your bees would be moving upwards further into the box and eating the honey that’s there.
So what this means is that you have more of your bees in the upper super. As such, it would be time to turn around your hive. Once you have accomplished that, the nest will now be at the bottom.
It minimizes the likelihood of swarming because your bees will start thinking there is more space and the queen will move about laying eggs.
However, if they are mostly in the lower selections of the hive, they do not reverse the hive.
Cleaning Up Inside
The bees will be doing some maintenance themselves. They will be clearing up the frames, to allow for nectar flow.
Every now and then the bees won’t get rid of the fragments totally. You will see the remaining bits on the lower board. What you can do is remove the fragments yourself.
Your hive will certainly be more productive if you remove things like the queen excluders, feeders and burr comb off the frames. Since the hive sustains warmth all the way through winter, rodents and other critters will possibly burrow down below these sections.
Photo credit to Wikipedia
Make a Smaller Hive
If you notice that the population of the adult bees is comparatively smaller, then it means that the process of rearing younger bees will be slower. Because they have to maintain the warmth for their brood, and there are more gaps in the hive, it will be a more difficult task.
So, minimize the hive size until the numbers improve considerably.
Maintain Food Stores
Bees need food, just like humans, so you will want to maintain food stores. This is especially important the closer it gets to spring.
They will come out of hibernation and start brooding, so they need it for energy as they rebuild and reproduce.
Inspection of the food stores is imperative until they start going out and finding their own and taking in more nectar. How do you know? They will ignore the food stores that you provide.
Bees have a preference for real nectar and not synthetic food supplements.
A healthy, thriving bee colony will start to get overcrowded in due course. So look out for this. This means that you will have to expand the hive, or else swarming will start to take place.
Install or Repair New Parts
The usefulness of a beehive can lessen over time. Some damages can occur due to unruly pests or larger animals, trying to get to the honey.
So be prepared to replace or repair the necessary parts if you notice rusting, rotting, cracking or warping.
The stronger the hive, the safer the bees, the more resistant it will be to future attacks and wear and tear over time.
Photo credit to Arena Flowers
Put in Entrance Blocks
For those long winter months, you will want to install some entrance blocks. This is to stop critters and small insects from getting in.
It also has a dual purpose.
While providing sufficient ventilation for the hive, it also helps for better heat retention during the winter.
It Takes Work to Maintain a Healthy Hive
If you are interested in beekeeping to ensure that you learn about the art of beekeeping.
Ask around and do as much research about bees and their environment. Any carelessness can lead to total annihilation of the bee population.