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Northern climate beekeepers-A question about the first hive check


Hey everyone,

I’ve been reading the beekeeping mentor and he talks about doing the first hive check in March. It’s +15 today and we could do a hive check but it is REALLY windy!! Like 50 km/hr gusts expected this afternoon! I’m assuming that a hive check in these conditions wouldn’t be a good idea but the temps are supposed to dip again for the next ten-fourteen days and then we won’t be able to open the hive due to the cold.
Thoughts? I was going to do the suggested checkerboarding and clean up. I cracked it briefly the other day when it was warm to add fondant and they seemed to be doing ok but were very cranky, and I didn’t have my husband home to help with the full hive check. Of course now that he’s home it’s ridiculously windy!
Would it be safe or advised to open to to check on swarm status and honey status? But leave the full cleanup for warmer weather?
I was going to remove empty comb if they have it to use in the package that is coming at the end of April and give them three foundationless frames to fill up again.
So far I’ve been going on books, this forum, local advice, intuition and luck!!! I’m hoping my plan will work like I’m expecting!

I’d appreciate any thoughts from my fellow cold weather beekeepers. I’m in Calgary and our winters are long and cold complicated by chinooks that confuse things by warming up to Spring temps for days at a time only to plummet back down again. We still have snow in the short term forecast and could get it all the way until June so it’s hard to know when it’s “safe” to start the Spring tasks! The local beekeepers haven’t unwrapped the hives yet so I suppose I could watch and go by them!!! May have just answered my own question but I’d still like to hear opinions and thoughts!!!


I think you are right, you answered your own question. :wink: Unless you have reason to think that you have a really good nectar flow, I wouldn’t do a detailed hive inspection or any swarm prevention with the weather you describe.


Thanks for the reply Dawn!!!