With spring allegedly just around the corner, you look around and notice that you’ve not seen any bees. In fact, you’ve not seen honey bees for a while now. So where are they? Just like plants, honey bees have an active season where they’re foraging flowers and a dormant season where the hive is hibernating.
Honey Bee Season is Dependent on Temperature
The correct answer to “When does honey bee season start” is – it depends. As the days grow longer and temperatures rise in March, the queen bee will start laying more eggs requiring the workers to use up their honey reserves from the autumn before. It’s at this time where food is growing in demand but flowers aren’t readily available that a honey bee hive may face starvation.
Come April, flowers begin to bloom meaning the bees will begin foraging. It’s at this time most beekeepers will mark their queen bee and do maintenance on the hive repairing and replacing broken frames.
In May, the rate of growth should increase again with bees coming and going from the now active hive. This is when bee season is typically in full swing with food replenishing regularly, traffic flowing into and out of the hive, and an active queen
Honey Bees in the Summer
Drones or male bees are in their highest numbers in June and July. The hive should be producing honey on a large scale now. The hive has reached maximum capacity between the worker bees, the drones, and the queen. During the upcoming months, the drones will leave the hive and the number of bees will start to decrease.
Setting Up Your Hive
Thinking of beekeeping? Spring is the best time to start. Depending on your location and the weather report, it’s best to get busy on your beehive once the flowers start to bloom since flowers will be your new bee’s primary source of food. If you’re ordering bees for your new hive, shoot for early spring to place your order so that they can arrive in time for peak blossoming.
While there’s no definitive answer on when honey bee season starts, the best indicator is nature itself. Longer days, warmer temps, and flowering plants are nature’s signal to the hive that the time has come to gather food for the spring.
Interesting in beekeeping? Check out our local Lake Ridge, Virginia supplier and seller of Sweet Sophia products, The Bee Store.