BeeLines Newsletter – March 2016

The March edition of BeeLines is now available at this link.

From Dr Tammy Horn:

Hi everyone:
This newsletter is a little larger than normal because I have attached a Hive Inspection Checklist that Lake Cumberland Beekeeper Association Dorothey Morgan, Dr. Tom Webster, and I worked on for your field records. 

Please also see the latest information about pollen supplements presented at the American Beekeeping Federation, information about Oldham County’s St. Francis observation hive grant that Christine Brinkman obtained, a tentative 2016 honey price list for KY State Beekeepers Association producers to use as a guide, a legislative update, and the calendar of beekeeper education events around the state.

Hive Maintenance Reminders: For swarm prevention, you want to reverse supers very soon, if you haven’t already.  I saw my first queen cell in one of my hives yesterday.  To reverse, simply take the bottom super or deep (if it is empty) and put it on the top super, so the honey bees can move up and out.   If the bees’ movements in these directions are restricted especially if they are cooped up in the hive a couple of rainy days, they will begin the process of swarming. Once the swarming process is triggered, it is difficult to control.  Note: if the bees have already moved down into the bottom super, ignore these instructions!   You’ll need to create the perception of room for the bees in other ways, i.e., adding a super of drawn foundation, adding empty frames with drawn foundation near the brood, etc.

Now is a good time to cull old frames and beeswax that is older than five years.  Simply place frames with new foundation in exchange of old frames with old foundation before the nectar flow really starts in March (note: my bees are already bringing in nectar and building new wax).   Remember: beeswax is “the lungs of the hive” ( I think I heard Jamie Ellis say this).  It absorbs all that workers bring in such as contaminants, spores, etc.  Culling out old foundation is a good way to prevent disease outbreaks and also reduce contaminant residuals in the hive.  Plus, bees love working new foundation! 


I hope everyone has as much fun as I’ve had working my bees this past weekend!  I’m looking forward to Bee Season 2016!

Tammy Horn, KY State Apiarist  – KY Dept of AGR, Office of State Veterinarian




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