Beekeepers preparing their hives for pollinating this spring season

Beekeepers preparing their hives for pollinating this spring season

Beekeepers are preparing their hives for pollinating this spring season, but there are other hurdles to overcome before we can gather honey.

Beekeepers preparing their hives this spring season still have several steps to take in order for Honeybee colonies to survive. Bees don’t like cloudy, or rainy weather for pollinating, which is why we might need to wait for warmer and sunnier days, before they start foraging.

Jeffery Nast, with Windy Ridge Apiaries, is preparing his hives at the Roper farm in Holyoke. He’s been beekeeping for the past few years, and said the mild winter had some benefits but also setbacks for his Honeybees.

“I was looking for things to do in my retirement that would get me out of my chair and doing things outside,” Nast said. “The winter was pretty mild for us this year. But mild winters can also be bad for the bees too. It’s good in some respects because we’re not fighting 18, 20, 30 [degrees] below out here they are. But on the other hand, when it’s warmer, they’re also more active. When they’re more active, they’re using more resources like their honey and whatnot.”

Nast said for the next two weeks, many beekeepers will be applying treatments for Varroa Destructor Mites. If beekeepers don’t manage their colonies to reduce mite levels, there is a 90-95% chance the bee colony could die.

“We want to make sure we have a real strong colony going into winter where they have lots of food stores in there. So even though we come out, we take honey off, we’re not taking all the honey. We’re making sure they have enough honey to get through the winter themselves.”

Nast also said if people plan on beekeeping as a hobby in the future, there are some factors to consider.

“If you plan to put bees in the middle of the woods, good luck. There’s going to be flowers there, but not year-round,” Nast said. “Your bees are probably not going to make it through winter because there’s not enough food resources for them to survive.”

For more information about pollinators this spring season you can look here. Also for another story about what flowers to plant for pollinators you can read more here.