Beekeepers have to make sure that in early spring beehives have a minimum amount of honey stores, which is about 5-7kg per hive. This assures the colony won’t stop growing even if the weather becomes cooler which would stop bees foraging for a few days.
In case you are worried that one of your colonies does not have enough honey or lack of pollen bread there are a few ways of helping our honeybees!
For Larger colonies that need replenishing/spring stimulation
The weather in April allows beekeepers to use liquid feed for replenishing food stores or spring stimulation. At the National Bee Supplies apiary, I am using Apimix, which I would personally recommend to feed your bees this month to replenish food stores or use for spring stimulation. Apimix contains high levels of vitamins and essential amino acids, which are necessary for the brood. Shop for Apimix.
For Smaller colonies/hives with plentiful stores
For weaker hives or if the hive has lots of honey stores left over after wintering, I am using pollen paste for stimulation and early boost. Candipolline gold would be the best choice. This product is the complete food supplement for bees made with sugar and sterilised flower pollen. Shop for Candipolline Gold.
Learn best from visuals? Here’s what to do when checking food stores
Adding Supers onto your Hive
In the second half of April, if the weather is good, and your hives are strong do not hesitate to add a super for a spring crop.
If you have yet to do so, clean your queen excluder which goes between the brood box and the super. Stop stimulation feeding after you put the supers on.
What’s happening with bumblebees in Spring?
Now we’re approaching warmer days, how about we check in with the close relation of the honeybee, the bumblebee. These large fuzzy bees begin their lifecycle in the spring when the queen emerges from hibernation to start a new nest as only the queen survives over winter. To build up her energy stores, she feeds on nectar-rich flowers and then embarks on finding a suitable nest. Once chosen, the queen gathers more nectar and pollen from flowers to store in little wax pots inside the nest and lays her eggs nearby.
Having plants and flowers in your garden in spring is essential for helping the queen collect enough food stores for her nest. Spring flowers great for bees are bluebells, comfrey and pieris. Start sowing seeds that will help create a bee-friendly garden each summer, including borage, foxgloves and lavender. Discover our full collection of bee-friendly seeds here.
Beekeeping Quiz Question!
We’re delighted to say Marion Coleman from Dorset won our last monthly beekeeping competition, who has a 14kg jerry can of Apimix on the way!
Our second monthly competition is here, and this time you have the chance to win 10 flat pack frames and foundation of your choice! All you need to do is answer via our survey, and all correct answers will be entered.
Think you know the answer? Enter your ANSWER HERE and your contact details! Hurry – draw closes 23rd April!
Before you enter, please read the full terms and conditions. Good luck!
Easter Recipe: Poppy Seed & Honey Cake
Enjoy this delicious cake recipe this Easter!
Poppy Seed & Honey Cake
- 140 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100 g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 175 g butter, softened
- 85 g honey
- 3 medium eggs
- 25 g cornflour
- 2 tbsp poppy seeds
For the icing
- 100 g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp sieved strawberry puree (crushed strawberries)
- Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter a 1.3 litre capacity ring tin (approx 20cm diameter) and dust the buttered surface with 1 tbsp each plain flour and caster sugar, then tap out the excess.
- Beat the butter, sugar and honey with a hand-held electric whisk, until pale and fluffy with a dropping consistency. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix the flour, cornflour and poppy seeds and fold into the creamed mixture.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 35mins until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool slightly in the tin then carefully remove, easing the sides with a palette knife. Cool on a wire rack.
- For the icing, mix both ingredients together then drizzle over the cake while it’s still on the rack and leave to set. Transfer to a plate to serve. Will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days.