Beekeeping throughout the year – what you need to know

Today apiaries can be found everywhere from country farms to urban roof tops and although the settings vary, the cycle of bee growth and development and the annual rhythm of life in the hive remains the same. In order to care for bees properly, the apiarist needs to understand and work with these cycles to keep the colony healthy.

The beekeeping year begins in January. During this time the bees are in their winter cluster and shouldn’t be disturbed.Check out this link here. A check every two or three weeks or after any high winds or extreme weather is all that is needed. Around the middle of February, remove the matches from the rear of the crown that were placed in late fall. This will cut off top ventilation and allow the hive to warm up for the new brood season. By March brood rearing should be well underway. Installing an entrance block with a narrow opening will help to conserve heat and a weekly check is fine.

Near the end of April, it is time for the first inspection of the season. At this time check the brood chambers and make sure the food supply is adequate. In May check to make sure there are both patches of eggs and drones in the hive. Near the middle of June, the spring honey should be just about finished. Now is the time to remove any full supers of honey, leaving the unsealed honey on the hive.

During the first part of July, check and make sure there is plenty of super room and check the brood chambers to make sure any virgin queens have mated and the brood pattern is normal. Summer honey production is at its peak in August and a weekly check is all that is necessary. September is the time top off the hive’s food supply for the coming winter with sugar syrup if necessary.

In October place winter entrance blocks on the hives to allow winter ventilation and keep out rodents. November is the time to insert matches along the rear of the crown to allow winter moisture to exit. In December, a check every two or three weeks is all that is needed.