local honey and bee suppliesRJ Honey Farm

First Year

Forget the Robins


Ah! The first sign of spring. Bees start to visit the dog water dish on the back porch. We actually don't have a dog. The dish is there for the bees. The sticks help keep them from drowing. If they fall in the water the bee can climb on and fly away. Sadly, a few don't make it.

Usually in late February or early March the temperatures reach into the 40s or better. The days are getting longer. These are triggers for the queen to start laying. The forager bees go out to find pollen and water. They use the water to dilute the honey stores and make bee bread to feed the young larvae.

If you have any questions about beekeeping we'd love to hear from you.

It's Agriculture


This is a first blog in a year long series on first year beekeeping. I want to see you succeed in beekeeping. It is an immensely fun hobby, but it has its challenges. Weather is one of them.

The queen is already laying. The bees are using a lot of the stored resources of the hive to make new bees and keep them warm. Typically in February & early March they are able to fly when the temps are in the 40s or more. Maples, willows, crocus are all important sources to get the bees jump started.

Not this year. There is the very real danger of the bees starving. When the weather breaks I'll go weigh and see if there's a buzz in the hives. Sugar patties for emergency feeding may be needed. But not today. Not at 12 degrees.

But you are a bee farmer. And this is agriculture. And there's not a thing you can do about the weather.

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