I think of this time of year as the planning season. Time to plan ahead and to learn from the mistakes of last year. A great time to use this site to learn some new tips and tricks?
We all make mistakes the trick is twofold, one is to learn from those like me what have made most of them and secondly not to repeat what you did last year in the mistake line….. easier said than done mind you but hope springs etc.
If you haven’t got the table of development in your head now is the time to memorise it:
With the info you can read a colony but with out it you are more than handicapped.
It’s time to consider if you have enough kit for the number of hives you intend keeping. Or are you intending reducing and selling some items off?
If you haven’t enough kit, and take into consideration how you are intending controlling swarming here, make a list of what you think you will need, and ask some one more experienced to run an eye over it for you. Then hit the catalogues and price it up, the result may well shock you. That was plan A. Now in the face of stark reality think it over again and be realistic. A want list is all very well but it has to be financed. Have you honey to sell? Bees possibly?
One that is often over looked is enough excluders, it’s very handy to have a few spare especially if trying to find some awkward queens.
Planning done at this time and studying will repay you in time saved and reduce the stress levels when the bees tell you they are not doing it your way but theirs. The wise beeperson pays attention to that.