February 14, 2010

Happy New Year!

Bees use a lunar calendar and, like the Chinese year, the beekeeping year starts in February. In this month’s "Jerry Sez!" we're reminded that February in Colorado is when things turn around and really get going.

“Well, the weather has turned cold again but the bees are doing well. Don't forget that they have little problem with cold weather. The colder it is, the tighter the cluster. When the outside ones get cold, they move to the inside. Everyone gets their turn on the outside. BUT! This is February! By the end of the month, the maple trees will be blooming and pussy willow. They get a lot of pollen and some nectar from them. The weather moderates, the queen lays more eggs and in April we get dandelions! (I used to make the class hold up their right hand and swear never to kill a dandelion.) If you are going to expand or if you have "for sure dead" hives you need to order pkgs. or nucs by the end of Feb. You may be able to order them later thru Chad and Vicki.

The bee catalogues have been coming in and are fun to look at. Lots of new gadgets. Some are fun to try but most are useless. One valuable tool however, is a hive lifter or mover. Always get the one with open ends, otherwise someone has to walk backwards. For sure, don't get Kelley's long hive tool. I have one and it will bend.

[I edited out Jerry's medication protocol. If you're interested in drugging your bees, it's time to bounce. See ya.]

Please remember that this is what I usually do, not always however. You will find that Beekeeping is a learning process. Everyone has their own idea on how to do it and most ways work. Listen to everyone because they are only trying to help you. You then have to sort out what you think will work for you and try it. If you have a good idea, tell us all. After we quit laughing, we will probably try it but won't tell you if it works. This is going to be a great season so have fun.”


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