February 10, 2012 admin


LUDHIANA, FEBRUARY 10: “As the weather starts warming up by the middle of February, abundant pollen and nectar rewarding important bee flora like Brassica (sarson/raya/gobhi sarson) and Eucalyptus are on bloom. Thus, this is the ideal period for colony growth and for starting beekeeping, told the entomology experts of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Apprising farmers of honey bee management in February, the experts informed that brood rearing increases and drone brood rearing is also initiated.
The experts have advised, “With the onset of spring, remove the winter packing of the colonies and clean the bottom board. Thoroughly examine the colonies at noon time on some calm and sunny day for availability of food stores, bee strength, brood rearing and performance of the queen bee. Unite the weak colonies, and queenless colonies with queen-right ones. Provide stimulative sugar syrup (sugar: water = 1:2) feeding if needed. Prefer to provide this feed in empty drawn combs.”
Elaborating, they suggested that depending upon the growth of the colonies, provide already raised worker brood combs/frames with comb foundations. Depending upon the need, super chambers can be added, said the experts, adding that to enhance bee activity on new frames with comb foundations, raised combs with honey should be provided as bait. Equalise the colonies, the maximum possible for food reserves, brood and bee strength following standard techniques. Infestation of ectoparasitic mites (Tropilaelaps clareae and Varroa destructor) and brood diseases maybe noticed in the honey bee colonies. They impressed upon the beekeepers to keep vigil on the brood diseases and on suspicion, immediately consult experts. Appropriate advised control measures should be undertaken and non-chemical methods should be preferred, stressed the exntmologists. Colonies may also be prepared towards end of February for mass queen bee rearing for requeening or for stock multiplication or for selling the bee colonies. The beekeepers who have already migrated their apiaries to sarson/raya belts, can extract ripened Brassica honey by the end of February. The experts emphasised that all the recommended measures should be followed to prevent swarming of colonies. Towards the end of the month, the colonies may be prepared for migration to Eucalyptus
plantation, said the experts. For more information, apiculture scientists can be contacted at phone no. 0161-2401960 Ext. (320).

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