The Bees In February
Early in the month, the queen is still cozy in the cluster. She will begin to lay a few more eggs each day. There are still no drones in the hive. Workers will take cleansing flights on mild days. The bees will consume about 25 pounds of food, made from a combination of honey stores and nectar from maples.
The maple bloom begins early in the month and the beekeeper must make sure the hive is ready for it. Remember that equipment that you should have repaired last month that you put off until this month? Well, this month is here. Check the hive for sufficient food supplies, diseases, and to see if the queen is laying. More colonies are probably lost during this time of year than during all of the other winter months. A colony that is rearing brood will consume about 10 pounds of food per week, and if the weather turns bad, a colony with small food reserves can quickly starve to death. Never allow the food stores to drop below 15 pounds. If they have less than 15 pounds of honey, start feeding them stored honey or sugar water (One part sugar to one part water.) Remember, once you start feeding, you need to continue feeding until they are bringing their own food supplies in. Go ahead and make sure that you’ve signed up for that “Advanced Beekeeper Course” you’ve been saying you were going to start. Attend your bee club meetings and get your equipment ready for spring.
The Red Maples should start to bloom around the 1st of this month and will end around the 12th of March.
Back Yard Beekeepers Association in Southwestern Connecticut.
NCSBA Calendar of Beekeeping by John T. Ambrose and Caroline L. Ambrose
Members of the Guilford County Beekeepers Association
N. C. Cooperative Extension Service: Honey Plants of North Carolina
N. C. State Beekeepers Association: North Carolina Honey Plants