About animals

Weekend Beekeeping


With the onset of February, winter is drawing to a close, and bees begin to emerge from hibernation. In the bee’s nest brood begins to appear, for the family needs more fresh air. Scientists have proved that for normal wintering during the day, the room should have a 10-fold air exchange. If the letok remains small, then it can be clogged with death. Therefore, the letok must be monitored for the whole winter, and if necessary, it should be freed from dead bees.

If the bees hibernate in winter with the onset of the thaw, a very early flyby can be observed. In February, and sometimes in March (it all depends on the winter!), Yellow-black striped toilers prepare for the active phase of their lives. If the bees were well prepared for wintering (there is no tick of Varroa, enough food, well insulated, etc.), then the family is simply obliged to survive the winter period well.

It is not recommended that any, the smallest, invasion of the bee family, even if the street is relatively sunny and warmas this may be alarming in other families nearby. Therefore, if you are 100% sure that insects need to be fed, then only then you can open the nest. In general, the bees are activated in February, they need special care.

For this purpose, first of all, it is recommended to go to each hive, insert a thin rubber tube into the tap hole and listen carefully to what life, or rather, what buzz inside. If it seems monotonous and calm to you, then the family is going through the winter well. The presence of a hectic, uneven hum indicates a problem inside the hive. This may indicate a lack of sufficient feed and air.

Many, especially novice beekeepers, often ask themselves what to do with bees, when rustling is heard inside the hive. So, this indicates a lack of nutrition. In this case, you need to feed the family.

First inspection

If during the first inspection you see that the bee club is located near the very ceiling, and at the same time there are about a dozen eggs on one frame, then such a bee family urgently needs to be fed. This is despite the fact that there is a lot of feed, but only at the extreme limits. In such cases, about 1 kg of candi is placed directly above the club. In order for the lure to not become quickly dry, it should be covered with polyethylene. After feeding the bee family, it is necessary to warm it well. In addition, to maintain good ventilation, you need to increase the upper notch by 3-4 cm.

Also, in the complete absence of food, you can take 2 frames with honey, print it and put it on both sides of the club or put one frame on top. It is also recommended to warm insects a little. To do this, you need to take 2 hot refractory bricks, put them on the bottom at the outposts, after which the hive is well insulated.

When you know that there is food in the family, brood has appeared (determined by a heated ceiling or canvas) and insects are abnormally buzzing, this indicates poor ventilation of the hive. To improve the flow of fresh air, you need to slightly raise the part of the hive that is insulated, and then open the upper notch wider. If even then the uneven rumble has not subsided, then you need to wrap a swab moistened with water in gauze and put on a frame.

Inspection of the bee family or the feeding process should take a small period of time, or rather 2-3 minutes.

Why do you need an early flyby

That bee family, in which wintering is not quite successful, should make an early flight. To do this, on a sunny day, from the hives that are under the snow, and in front of them they remove the snow, throw straw or lay cardboard from large boxes. After departure, the bees can sit on cardboard or straw for a few seconds, and not cooling down to return.

It happens that after such a flyby in the snow you can see several dozen insects: a common phenomenon, since they, having flown a little further from the hive, have no power to go back, are cooled and die. Some beekeepers, especially young ones, try to collect them, warm them and bring them back to their families. This is not necessary, because their condition is such that they live very little time in the hive, and do not bring any benefit.

Throughout wintering, the intestines of insects are clogged with excrement, which is why a strong increase in the hind gut is observed closer to spring. It is proved that its weight together with excrement can make up about 50% of the weight of the insect itself. Wintering is considered normal until the gut is full. If the bee does not get rid of feces in time, then an intestinal upset begins, which can cause diarrhea.

As a result, dirty brown spots will appear on the front wall of the hive, on the frames, honeycombs. In this case, the development of mortal toxicosis, nosematosis, paratyphoid is observed. The cause of these diseases is honeydew, a fermented, poorly processed sugar feed. In addition, the development of diarrhea can be affected by the breed of insects, a significant increase in temperature and humidity in the hive and in the winter hut, the presence of mice, foul-smelling substances, etc. As a result of such factors - excessive feed intake, intestinal overflow the occurrence of diarrhea and other diseases.

Works in the apiary in February.

The list of works in February is largely similar to January. But control of the wintering process should be more careful, because the feces of bees increase, in some places the uterus begins to lay eggs, and the temperature rises in the nest, thereby increasing the room temperature.

Weekly Omshanik Check

It is advisable to visit Omshanik on a weekly basis, especially to coincide with differences in external temperatures on the street. This month, prolonged thaws occur, followed by crackling frosts. It is important to avoid high temperatures during prolonged warming. The danger is that the bees of this period are excited and from the stuffiness jump out of the letoki, fall to the floor, die. Often it is necessary to observe a large layer of death on the floor of the room.
As a result, families weaken quantitatively and the physiological wear and tear of those remaining in the hive increases. Therefore, it is better to adhere to the rule: let it be somewhat colder, as if with a margin, than stuffy and hot. Especially for Siberia and the Urals, one must be able to maintain a state of deep peace as long as possible. The longer the bees are less active, the more vital energy they will conserve, and in the spring their rapid growth will quickly outstrip those in which the uterus began early egg laying. Such a thin adaptive mechanism just explains one of the reasons for the increased winter hardiness of dark forest Central Russian bees in front of other breeds.

The ventilation of each specific Omshanik is regulated taking into account its cubic capacity, the number of bee colonies, their strength, cross-section of exhaust and supply ducts. Beekeepers of the Ore Altai have come up with a good and simple way to prevent overheating of the Omshanik. With the onset of frost, fill plastic 5-liter bottles of 20-30-50 pieces with water, freeze and store them until warming, when the temperature in the Omshaniks begins to grow rapidly and is difficult to reduce. Then these containers with ice are brought into the room, depending on its size, and laid out on the floor without opening the cork. Ice takes a large amount of heat, and closed containers do not create excessive moisture. This technique helped to keep the room temperature no higher than +2 ° С when the sun was baking on the street and spring was rampant.

Work with weak families

Assisting dysfunctional families. Those beekeepers who professionally, competently relate to preparing an apiary for wintering, do not experience big problems during it, with the exception of temporary minor complications. Those who do not bother with knowledge of biology, the laws of life of the bee family, may encounter the problem of starving, crippled families. What to do? It seems that most apiaries winter in Omshanik, where shelves are only under the lower rows of hives, the rest stand in dense columns on top of each other. In this case, it is very difficult to get out, pull out the necessary hive to provide assistance.
To do this, you will have to move many other hives, which not only creates a lot of physical work, but also a lot of anxiety for bees, thereby deteriorating the quality of an already intense wintering. It is most convenient for a starving family to give a candy cake or honey cake that weighs about a kilogram. Sometimes you can give a well-filled syrup frame. Crippled families can be helped by flying around in a specially arranged spacious greenhouse. Once again, I emphasize that fixing the problems that arise is very time-consuming and sometimes does not give the desired effect. Therefore, you need to prepare for the winter carefully at the end of summer, in the fall, with deep knowledge.

In the second half of the month, the days become longer, the snow begins to thaw in the sun. It is no coincidence that the people called February bogogreyem. Therefore, many beekeepers blacken points with coal dust, ash, and earth, which accelerates snowmelt.

February in the southern regions

In the southern regions, bees make a cleaning flyby, and in some places even bring pollen. Therefore, the beekeeper has the opportunity to assess the outcome of wintering and to carry out the first work on cleaning the bottoms from death. But the most important thing is to make sure that there is enough feed. With scanty supplies, place the Kandy cakes. The fact is that early development requires a greater consumption of honey, and often there is a return cold and, oddly enough, but in these southern regions brood and entire families die.

It is necessary to clarify once again the need for spare hives, hulls, dividing bottoms for layering, swarms, dividing grids, wax, additional equipment, containers and containers for honey. Missing - to purchase, repair. In a well-equipped apiary, the number of spare beehives should be 50% of the number of existing bee colonies. Catering for 24-30 Dadanov frames and at least 40 multi-frame. Electric appliances and power tools are becoming very popular. All this requires not just additional financial expenses, but also due new qualifications, skills, where very careful observance of safety measures is necessary. In nomadic apiaries, care should be taken about the readiness of vehicles and loading mechanisms.
Sushi Preservation

Check once again, just in case, the safety of land. Clarify the calculation of the cost security. Purchase the missing amount of wax.

Prepare containers for honey

Prepare containers for honey based on the intended production plan.
Guslyakov M.

General algorithm of work

Spring work in the apiary after wintering is the final stage of measures begun in the fall to increase the number of young bees. The tasks of the beekeeper in this period are reduced to:

  • preparing a place for installing beehives and equipment,
  • exhibitions of bees from the winter house (if available) and a cursory inspection of bee families,
  • spring audit - providing maximum assistance to bee families emerging from dormancy after winter - eliminating accumulated litter and death from hives (the remains of bees that died during the winter), supporting dysfunctional families (feeding, controlling parasites, treatment if necessary, etc.),
  • insulating nests,
  • changing or updating a socket,
  • withdrawal of queens.

Spring work can begin depending on how the wintering of the insects was organized (in the winter road, just indoors or outside, in the place of summer hives), the course of spring, the breed of bees (for example, the Carpathian are quite capricious, Central Russian are more hardy and frost-resistant), hive designs and other criteria. Timing is largely determined by local honey collection conditions.. So, where the main bribe is provided by raspberries and herbs, bees should be set earlier.

You can learn more about how bees make honey from an article on our website.

Monthly calendar of spring work in the apiary

The beekeeper’s calendar differs from the garden calendar. The borders of spring in the apiary are not the arrival of rooks and the flowering of fruit trees, but the first cleansing flight of bees and drones in bee colonies. The Russian spring has always been distinguished by its instability and unpredictability: the alternation of thaws and frosts, sunny and rainy days.

March: primary training

In most regions of the Russian Federation March is, in fact, the winter month, so all the main work is limited to preparing for the next exhibition of bees. However, in recent years, abnormally warm winters and positive temperatures in March have become a familiar phenomenon not only in the European part of Russia, but also in the regions of Siberia and the Far East.

Schedule for March

Types of jobsDecades
Preparatory workInventory RepairPreparation of points (platforms for installing beehives)Arrangement of grounds for installing beehives
Bee exhibition work---
The main spring revision---
Growing the number of bees for honey collection---
Withdrawal of uterus, formation of layering (new bee colonies)---

In February-March, the bees become more restless, excitable. In the hives, an increasing noise appears, insects can come out of the upper letok. The danger of their excited state is diarrhea, weakening and death of insects.

Reasons for concern include:

  1. An increase in ambient temperature in the winter. It must be reduced so that the indicators do not exceed +4 ℃ - to increase ventilation, up to opening the doors at night or placing containers with snow and ice in it. In an extreme case, you can resort to a “superearly” (2-3 weeks ahead of schedule) exhibition - temporarily take the hive out onto the street. In this case, you should choose the southern wall of the building, clean the area 3-4 meters from the wall. If there is snow near the hive, it should be sprinkled with sawdust, covered with newspapers or roofing paper. Strong families will endure a similar procedure painlessly. It will help to activate the bees, give them partially or completely fly around, free the stomachs from feces. After the flyby, you can bring the hives back and give water to the insects or transfer them to the place of summer parking, but in this case additional insulation is required.
  2. Crystallization of feed in nests. In such a situation, the bees should be given water urgently.
  3. Use winter honey instead of sugar syrup in honeydew.

In parallel with observing the bees, one should begin to work on preparing the proper conditions for a cleansing flight.

Bees make honey not only from flower nectar, but also from the “paddy” - the sweet secretions of some insects (mealybugs, aphids, etc.) or the so-called “honey dew” (juice that appears on the needles or leaves of trees with a strong drop day / night temperatures). Insects collect the paddy not always, but only with an acute shortage of flower nectar (for example, with prolonged drought).

The process of forming honeydew is similar to creating flower honey, but the final product varies greatly. Honey, which is obtained from the paddy, contains much more proteins, mineral compounds (especially potassium salts) and organic acids, which is harmless to the health of bees. The insects that feed on them get sick with “mortal toxicosis” - an ailment that leads to the mass death of hive residents.In addition, pathogens that are hazardous to the health of the queen bee often enter the product.

For people, honeydew honey is very useful, in many countries it is widely in demand as a healing agent.

Preparatory Activities

The first task that needs to be solved is to select and prepare a place for a spring flyby (ideally, this place should be permanent), to prepare all the necessary tools, spare cells and other equipment for this.

Frames with wax and honeycombs should be placed in a portable box with a tight lid, separately from working tools (a chisel, a smoker, a horsehair brush for sweeping bees, an apiary knife, rotten smoker, etc.).

Any novice beekeeper should get necessary inventory. From the video presented, you can find out what and why it will be needed in the apiary:

Preparatory work includes:

  • selection of places for installing beehives. It should be provided that there are trees nearby that are designed to protect the bee dwellings from sunlight. If branches will interfere with the flight of insects, they need to be trimmed or tied up,
  • cleaning and sorting spare cells. Dark and damaged honeycombs need to be melted, good ones must be collected in a spare hive or box. Honeycombs for feeding weak families should be warmed up before a show in a warm room,
  • insulation preparation (pillows, mattresses, etc.),
  • hive stand construction. As such, metal welded structures, deck chairs, wooden pegs, old car tires, etc. can be used. The hives should not come into contact with the ground,
  • getting rid of snowaccumulated on a site along fences, walls, near bushes, etc. To accelerate melting, it can be “blackened” - sprinkled with ash, coal dust or earth. Ice should be broken with a crowbar or a shovel. In any case, the place where the hives should stand must be completely clear of snow,
  • bee watering equipment. On the day of the flyby, the drinker should be ready for use. For this, any container installed in a place protected from the wind, 50-75 cm from the surface of the earth, is suitable. In small apiaries, individual drinking bowls can be built on each hive.

If hives hibernated outdoors, then care for bees will be different. In this case, in March, after clearing the snow, you should remove the damp heaters (coniferous branches, leaves, bark, etc.), clean the holes with a wire or goose feather, additionally insulate the nests and hives (otherwise the insects will spend a lot of energy on heating) .

It is also necessary to clean the bottom (bottom) from scuffing, the layer of which is a threat of infection of insects with dangerous diseases. Do not drag out getting rid of decaying corpses and garbage, otherwise the bees themselves will be engaged in cleaning instead of growing brood.

By the content of the layer of death, you can learn a lot about the state of the bee colony, eg:

  • droplets of feces in the dead - the family was addicted,
  • sugar grains - feed crystallized
  • dead drones pupae - absence of the uterus,
  • a large number of bee corpses - the family is dying of hunger.

After cleaning the bottoms, it makes sense to give out kandy (carbohydrate feeding) with an antibiotic for preventive purposes. This will help to destroy pathogens, stimulates the development of families. The lower slots should be closed, the upper ones should be opened, so that during cooling by insects it is easier to regulate the air passage and protect the nest from theft.

Kandy is a top dressing, consisting mainly of honey and powdered sugar in a ratio of 1: 3. In the spring, protein components are added to it (for example, pollen or milk powder). Kandy has the appearance of a fairly dense dough. From it form flat cakes weighing about 1 kg, which are placed in hives. (Kandy should not be sticky - this is a sign that the "dough" is not spoiled.)

April: end of wintering

In April, insect anxiety is increasing. Fecal load at this moment is 50% of the bee’s weight, so any excitement can cause her diarrhea. At the same time, sowing is accelerated (the process of laying eggs by the uterus). The daily egg production of the uterus increases - from 150 to 500 eggs or more.

April work schedule

Types of jobsDecades
Preparatory workFrame knocking, wire pullingFraming-
Bee exhibition workExhibition of bees from the winter hut, a cursory inspection of bee coloniesDrinking bowl installationInstallation of a solar wax refinery
The main spring revisionSpring revisionReduction of nests, removal of unnecessary honeycombs, insulation of nests-
Livestock raising for honey collection---
The withdrawal of the uterus, the formation of layeringBookmark Early Tribal Drones--

The beekeeper himself drones, of course, does not "lay." He sets honeycombs with special “drone” cells (empty) in the hive, into which the uterus must lay unfertilized eggs. The sooner she does this, the sooner there will appear “paternal” individuals, in an amount sufficient to inseminate young queens.

First departure: what needs to be done

If the main mass of snow has disappeared, the willow has blossomed and the inflorescences of coltsfoot have appeared - you can make an exhibition. To do this, choose a calm, sunny day with a shadow temperature of at least + 9 ... 12 ℃.

By the time the flyby begins drinkers should be filled with salted water (3-4 tablespoons per 10 liters). To attract insects, you can spread the drinker with honey.

Bees after wintering should fly out of the hive and defecate. The observant beekeeper, without opening the hives, can learn a lot from flight features:

  • friendly, with energetic liberation from excrement, removal of litter from the hive - evidence that the wintering went well, the family is strong and prosperous,
  • poor and unfriendly flight, when individual individuals fly out, there is a random crawl along the walls of the hive - the absence of the uterus,
  • bloated abdomen in bees and bowel movements immediately upon reaching the arrival board - nosematosis, feeding with pade or acidified food,
  • a sluggish outbreak of insects, a small number of them - signs of starvation, small families. When the bees do not show at all, you need to press your ear to the front wall of the hive and click on the body with your finger. If a faint rustling sound is heard in response, this is a signal of hunger. In this case, you should urgently bring the hive into the heat, sprinkle the bees with sugar syrup (1x1), remove the empty frames, put the frames with warm honey in their place and put the hive in place,
  • attempts to take off and death to the ground, flare-opener (turning the wings to the sides) - a disease of acarapidosis, etc.,
  • removal by insects of wax litter, gnawed dead individuals, mouse droppings - the presence of a rodent in the hive.

To speed up the beginning of the flyby, you should warm the hive. To do this, you can cover the nest from above with glass or transparent cellophane.

At the end of the flyby, flybacks need to be reduced with a liner to 1-3 cm. This will prevent theft and keep warm.

A quick tour of the hives

To avoid possible infection, a quick inspection is best to start with healthy families. It may also include top dressing, so you should prepare sugar syrup (1.5 l per family) with the addition of cobalt chloride (1 tablet per 5 l) in advance.

Inspection is carried out in the following order.:

  • remove the cover and pillow,
  • open the canvas to 50% of the framework, using the busy "streets" ("passages" between the combs) determine the strength of the family and lower the canvas (fabric "ceiling" of the hive),
  • wrap the canvas from the extreme 2-3 frames from the side of the insertion board and check for feed and brood. Rearrange the feed frames closer to the brood,
  • vicious barren frames, moldy or fermented honeycombs should be removed from the nest. In their place put the honeycomb with food,
  • to clear strips, whetstones, honeycombs, walls of spots of diarrhea.

It is necessary to place a metering feeder with syrup in front of the nest. With a quick inspection, it is already possible to attach uterine-free families to weak uterine ones: after fumigating the honeycombs with bees of the uterine-free family, rearrange them on a weak hive for an inserted board. Families affected by the invasion of mice must be relocated to clean hives and replaced by honeycombs. A mandatory procedure is to clean the bottom of the scrub, which, under adverse circumstances, becomes wet and moldy.

The beekeeper must get ahead of the insects of the affected family, otherwise they can not only become infected with pathogenic microbes themselves, but also infect individuals from other hives. So that the apiary does not suffer, scorpion is burned or buried deep in the ground. Recently, the use of dry death for medicinal purposes (in decoctions, tinctures and ointments) has become popular.

Standard hives feature detachable bottoms for easy cleaning. The bottom should be scraped off with a knife or a chisel, washed with ash liquor or wiped with a 5% formalin solution. Some beekeepers treat surfaces with fire using blowtorches, but after that there remains a steady smell of singing. With integral bottoms, only insect corpses can be removed, and disinfection postponed until the main spring revision.

Spring audit: a detailed inspection of families

A few days after the flyby, you need to conduct a spring audit. Its purpose is to establish the strength of the family, the presence and characteristics of the brood, the quality of honey, the general condition of the nest, etc. A quiet sunny day is selected for the spring revision. Air temperature should not be lower than + 14 ... 15 ℃. At the same time, no more than 2 frames can be kept open, since when exposing more, there is a threat to catch brood.

By the appearance of the brood, one can judge the state of the bee. The uterus must lay eggs in all cells in a rowif there are omissions, then it is old or sick. Brood larvae should be white and cells should be sealed with even lids. The presence of a motley brood is evidence of the disease and death of the larvae. Spoiled honeycombs (with elongated cells, moldy beef, gnawed by mice, etc.) should be removed. After inspection, the nest is insulated from the sides and top with pillows stuffed with moss or tow, mats of straw. For coasters, it’s good to use old car tires filled with straw or leaves.

Hives in which wintering has been unsuccessful must be sanitized. To do this, you will need to rearrange the brood frames and shake the bees into a spare hive.

You can learn more about how to conduct the main spring audit from the video:

May: update period

After a successful spring audit, insect wards will not need food for 2-3 weeks. The freed up time can be devoted to re-waxing of discarded honeycombs, disinfection and painting of hive bodies. They need to be painted with different colors with oil paint, then rinse the surface with water and vinegar.

May is one of the most important periods in the life of a bee family. At this time, a complete update takes place, the process of which must be controlled. For example, if crystallization of honey occurs for any reason, you should take out the outer frames from the hives every 3-4 days, print them out and moisten them with warm water. If there is an early bribe, strong families need to add 2 frames of land (finished honeycombs with empty cells) along the edges of the nest.

May Schedule

Sugar and feeder preparation

Bee exhibition work

The main spring revision

Livestock raising for honey collection

Aligning the strength of bee families

The withdrawal of the uterus, the formation of layering

Replacing old queens with young ones

Charging hives with honeycombs, feed,

uterine implantation in layers

Fifteen days after the audit, the hives should be reviewed again. In the case of a decrease in family strength, it is necessary to reduce the nest, replace 2-3 low-copper frames with one with a lot of honey, add frames with bee bread for feeding brood. With an increase in brood area, a strong family needs to expand the nest.

Nest expansion

For the beekeeper in May, the expansion of the nest is the main task, which is important to solve without undue haste, but also without delay. The expansion involves the addition of new empty honeycombs between the brood and feed extreme frames:

  • 2 frames on both sides - for a strong family,
  • 1 frame - for an average family.

It is best to deliver honeycombs of light brown color, from which 2-3 generations have already been derived. It is desirable that in the upper part contained up to 0.8 kg of honey. Print honey and sprinkle with warm water. This will attract bees and the uterus. When the first bribe appears (from dandelions, maple, currants, etc.), the nest can also be expanded due to waxed frames.

The problem of equalizing the strength of families in beekeeping has not received an unambiguous solution. Some experts assess the strengthening of weak families at the expense of strong families as inappropriate, preventing the identification of the quality of the uterus and family. Others admit the possibility of increasing the number of bees by rearranging the frames with a more mature brood into beehives with weak families. This option is the most effective, in addition, the selection of a mature offspring from a strong family serves as an important anti-swarm technique, which does not affect the productivity of the uterus. On the contrary, there is room for egg laying

By May, strong families accumulate a reserve of young individuals that are able to form a natural bee swarm and fly out. Such a swarm can be located near the hive for 20-45 minutes, during which time it is necessary to “catch” it before it flies away.

In some areas (especially the steppe ones), before the bribe begins, it is necessary to feed the bees with honey for some time, and in its absence - sugar syrup (2 parts sugar and 1 part water).

Two other tasks for May are withdrawal of uterus and formation of layering. For the withdrawal of early uterus, it is necessary to first bring drones out, form foster families, prepare larvae for growing uterus.

Preserving and growing the extra mass of bees to the beginning of the main honey collection helps formation of artificial layering. This is best done at the height of summer, when worker bees are involved in the process of collecting nectar, and young individuals remain in the hive. The uterus is previously isolated. 4-5 honeycombs with brood and bees are transferred to a separate hive, 2 full with honey and bee bread, shake bees from 2-3 honeycombs there. After collecting the nest, the hive is insulated and closed. A few hours later, when the insects are assimilated, substitute a cell with a young fetal uterus. And after 2-3 days, they will definitely check how the bee community will accept it.


What spring work is needed in the apiary, in what sequence it is advisable to conduct it, how to properly care for the bees in order to create strong families and ensure successful honey collection you can find out from the videos presented:

An avid gardener, beekeeper and gardener, is not indifferent to dogs and cats and other pets. Spends spring, summer and autumn in the country and experiments in the beds. He likes to communicate with “advanced” summer residents and find something new and useful for himself. Gathers the best ways of preparation and recipes for cooking dishes from products grown by yourself. With pleasure he shares his discoveries and secrets with readers.

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Types of jobsDecades