I went through my hives, reversing the hive bodies and adding in fresh new frames for the bees to begin filling.
Opening up those brood chambers to help reduce the tendency to swarm in two or three weeks.
I am feeding like crazy. Natural pollen and nectar is starting to come in, and I am still feeding 1/1 syrup and Ultra Bee pollen sub. The reason for this is because I intend to split for artificial swarms. I also have nuc's and packages incoming. Having a spare frame of brood for them will boost them beyond belief.
For a package, installing them does not mean instant growth. If you use drawn comb to install them on, New bees are still 21 days away. Un-drawn frames will take even longer. A frame of capped brood when you install, will give them new bees within a day or three. This will help those bees accept the queen and not be as inclined to supersede her. Package bees will begin to decline rapidly during that 21 days, so give them some population and let that new queen strut her stuff!
A frame of brood also helps anchor them, both packages and nuc's to that new hive body you just put them in. There will be less bees that decide they don't like what you have offered.
If you treat your bees, they should be done, or be getting done depending on your method of treatment. Mine were treated with Oxalic Acid Vapor the last two Fridays, and they will get another treatment next Friday. That should hold them until late August.
You should have you new equipment ready, and if you put out swarm traps, they should be going up very soon.
You should be prepared to catch swarms when your called, and if you do cut outs you should have your gear ready to go on a moments notice.
As stated, packages and nuc's will be ready and or arriving soon. You have them set up and ready to install? Your newly painted hive boxes are well aired out and the paint good and dry?
Tis the season, we have had all winter to prepare for the spring and summer, now all that work is about to be utilized.
If you are anything like me, you will suddenly find that your preparation was inadequate somewhere along the line. I hope for a few swarms, and a few cut outs. As it stands I have about ten extra boxes just for those eventualities. I will probably need 15 extra hives.. thats how it usually goes, but better to fall a little short than a LOT short and miss the opportunity entirely.
Theres a lot about to happen, stand by for the final countdown!