In March with beehives
by Lewis Kelly
Check for Diseases
In March you need to monitor for the varroa mite. If you're using mesh floors, then you can pull the screens out and clean off the debris; for example, from wax moths. A surprising amount of debris can build up over the winter.
Nosema is also potentially a big problem. The symptoms can include brown speckles on the front of the hive and soiling of the combs. Untreated nosema can lead to colony collapse. However, there are few treatments available to combat nosema, but a feed supplement can be used to counteract it.
Especially, in a late cold spring hives can be very low in stores in March, so you need to check that they don't run out of food and starve. Don't open a hive at this time of year, unless absolutely necessary and only when it's warm enough. If you open a hive when it's still cold you run the risk of chilling and killing the brood.
However, at this time of year, if you're going to feed your hives, it's essential to use fondant and not syrup. You can use syrup when the weather has heated up in April.
General Maintenance and Upkeep
This is pretty much the last chance you'll have to carry out general maintenance of your equipment. Once the beekeeping season gets into full swing, you won't have time to do any of this. So this is the time of year to go through your spare supers, brood chambers and nucs and clean and repair them, where necessary. It's also the time to get your frames made up and foundation put in them.
There'll be no time for any of this later in the season, so get it all done now, if you can.