Hot Tips

January, February

  • Monitor the hive entrance for build up of dead bees and blockage.
  • Check regularly for any damage or wind / weather getting in.
  • Ensure the roof is secure; bricks, blocks and/or a strap will do the job.
  • In January, when the weather is cold, but not below freezing, treat your hives with oxalic acid solution to control varroa. Record the varroa drop in the following two weeks so that you know how badly your colonies are infested.
  • Gently heft (lift) the hive to check food weight. If light put a block of fondant over the crown board feedhole, and check regularly to see if it is being consumed.
  • Plan what you want to do in your apiary in the coming year.


  • During early March continue to monitor the hive entrance for damage by weather or attack, animal or human!
  • Pay close attention to the weight of the hive if weather is warming up. The colony should be growing quickly and food consumption will increase considerably.
  • Replace fondant when it is consumed.
  • Later in the month consider giving full strength syrup (made by adding 1kg sugar to one pint of hand-hot water) instead of fondant if you wish to continue feeding because food is short or you want to try to stimulate the colony into early growth.
  • Buy your stock of new frames, foundation and hive parts for the coming year.