Opening the Hives – March 14, 2015

I can’t believe we’re into our fourth year of bee keeping now! It does not seem that long ago that we set up our first hives. I thought I’d understand bees a little better by now but I think I’ve still got a lot to learn!

It has been warm here in Calgary, which makes me think that the bees are active a little early, but it was about this time last year when we opened up Moose Factory to feed and medicate. It was sunny today so we figured why not check on the ladies and see what they were up to.

We opened up Moose Factory first – they went into the winter as the strong hive and have had more activity over the winter.

Jonny opening up Moose Factory.


There were a ton of bees in there – and some how they had made new honey up under the top box lid.

Lots of ladies – hopefully the queen is making more!
So many bees! And they seem to have moved in honey from somewhere



We added in two Apivar strips (to medicate against mites) and two pollen patties (to give them something to eat and encourage our queen to make more bees) before closing them up again. We’ve left the insulation and the wrapping on until it warms up (maybe May?).

Then we opened up Chapleau, which is the hive we made last year. They have less bees than Moose Factory but we still saw some new bees and honey. Both good signs – and miles ahead of last year when we didn’t have a second hive. Like the other hive we put in two Apivar strips and two pollen patties and closed them back up.

Not quite as populated but still lots of bees in Chapleau. Way to go ladies!


Pollen patties – bee food to encourage the queen to lay new brood


Both our hives were really mellow today which made working with them nice. Bee keeping is so much easier when the bees aren’t angry! We have to leave the Apivar strips in for a while so we’ll just let the bees do their thing and hopefully when we open the hives at the end of the April there are a ton of bees in there. Bee keeping season has started!

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