I'm hesitant to say it, but it appears that Spring is here. I know I may end up eating my words if a frost sweeps through in April, but it's been over 70 degrees for two days in a row and the forecast predicts a full week of balmy weather. Spring? Is that you?
I've been spotting my bees foraging for water in the backyard frequently. Now that it's not freezing at night I've got to go set up my water source again. Trees are blooming in the neighboring parks, so the bees are bringing in pollen. When pollen sources become available, they begin rearing brood again, and quickly. I will have to do an inspection this week to make sure the brood nest doesn't need expansion. Crowded brood nest=potential for swarming, no matter how many empty supers you put on top of the hive in the spring. Pulling some frames of brood into upper supers and dropping foundationless frames in the spaces left behind can help alleviate congestion and prevent swarming.
It looks like I'll be moving my Greenpoint bees in April to Brooklyn Navy Yard. My pal Chase is working out a little place for me to put my Top Bar Hive and my two Langstroth hives. I was going to move them to Jerz, but I still have honey CSA members here in Brooklyn so it makes sense to keep some hives here indefinitely. After all, I'll only bee a quick jaunt away so regular inspections will be a breeze.
In other news, our bee club, the Backwards Beekeepers of NYC ordered some packages this Spring. I expect we should see them in early to mid-April. If you need some bees, please get in touch. We have a few unclaimed boxes of bees that could use homes. If you need a hive, we have assembled ones at Hayseed's. We got yer back! If you don't really know how to keep bees, checkout the BBNYC website for classes. I still have some coming up at 3rd Ward and New York Botanical Gardens so there's time to learn. You can also donate what you wish for my recorded online course.
I'm excited to say that I have a couple new bee clients this season as well. It's kind of hilarious when I think about the fact that anyone would hire me to keep bees for them. It's like those people that get paid to eat ice cream. I honestly would do it for free if I didn't have bills to pay, but alas! I feel really fortunate that I get tell people I am a beekeeper for a living when they ask what I "do". I never tire of that horrified look on their faces--or the satisfaction I feel when I can hand my rent check in on time.