Super Observations: Gearing Up for Spring
by Bob Mitchell
The fall season is behind us, all of those chores such as removing honey supers, installing mouse guards, cleaning and preparing supers for next spring’s nectar flow, bottling honey and clearing apiary sites of excess weeds and branches are hopefully behind us. Now, we have time to spend in the shop preparing for next year’s activity.
I will make a point that all of the “work” doesn’t take place in the shop! The long winter evenings can be put to good use by preparing the beekeeper for next spring’s activities. Take advantage of this time to attend meetings and lectures, read books and industry periodicals and become a more proficient beekeeper. Take time to learn more about honey bee biology and forage plant identification. There are numerous books and Websites that are helpful. This is time well spent and will increase your success as a beekeeper.
Beekeeping is a physically strenuous activity, so be sure to keep up an exercise regimen so you will be less likely to experience sore muscles or injuries next season.
While spending time indoors we can plan for next year’s success by ordering equipment, tools and accessories, you may be able to catch them on sale. This is a good time to spend in the warmth of the shop assembling and painting equipment for use next spring.
Need a larger extractor or some other piece of equipment? Try attending additional meetings in other counties to see if you can pick up used equipment from another beekeeper. Become involved in the association and volunteer your services to staff an exhibit booth or provide a beekeeping program to school children.
Take advantage of the “off” season to be “on-your-game” and well prepared for next spring.