In the Hive: In April, with the presence of pollen and rising temperatures, the brood
increases rapidly in anticipation of nectar flows. The presence of pollen on the hind
legs of the bees is a good indicator that the hive is producing brood. When pollen
and nectar sources are adequate, drones will begin to be produced. Seeing some drone
cells is a good indication that the hive is thriving. Early blooming plants such as
willow, maple, fruit trees, berries, and dandelion are good sources of early pollen
for the hive. Pollen can range in color depending on the source, so look for pollen
baskets on the bee's hind legs to be loaded with orange, yellow, creamy white, olive
or even red.
- On a warm day with temperatures above 55° F, do a full hive inspection. Check for
all stages of brood, the brood pattern, and the overall health of the hive.
- Attempt to find the queen. Populations are small in the spring and you have a good
chance of spotting her.
- If hives have overwintered, consider splitting the hive to control the population
and reduce risk of swarming later in the season.
- Begin monthly check for foulbrood diseases. If an infection is suspected, call your
county bee inspector and have the hive checked to verify the disease. Antibiotic treatments
can be obtained with a prescription from a veterinarian.
- Feed bees 1:1 sugar water syrup and pollen patty.
- Register hives with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). This will
give you access to the many resources that UDAF offers, including inspections and
pest and disease alerts.
In bloom: Maple, willow, fruit trees, service berry, choke cherry, Oregon grape, berries,
wisteria, viburnum, lilac, dandelions, broad beans, barberry, flowering quince, grape