As always I’ll preface this with the saying, “All beekeeping is local.” February is the middle of winter here in the Midlands of South Carolina. It’s as cold as it gets here but the bees still get out a bit if only for a potty break. Red Maple blooms in earnest this month and other early bloomers soon join in. The queen goes full tilt with her egg laying and the colony makes plans for reproduction. A lot is happening but mostly it’s a covert operation during February. It’s crunch time for beekeepers to prepare their equipment for the coming rush of spring.
1) Quick inspection of brood nest if weather permits.
2) Check honey supply on each hive and feed with sugar syrup if hive has less than half a super of honey. Recipe: ten pounds of cane sugar to one gallon of water. Suggest top feeders: either double chamber or pail feeder. Feed 1:1 syrup to increase brood rearing. Add pollen substitute pattie.
3) Swap (rotate) brood boxes if temperatures allow. (above 60 degrees)
4) Remove any medications in hive.
5) Assemble honey supers.
6) Notice Red maple starting in Midlands now.
7) Notice bees finding pollen.
8) Build and prepare swarm traps this month.
9) Build and prepare nucleus hives for upcoming spring splits.