Roe Valley Beekeepers Association

Beekeeping Calender

Beekeeping Advice

JANUARY

Regular checks for wind and storm damage and that entrance is not blocked by snow

Heft the corner of the hive,  estimating weight and stores left.  Plan for the year ahead

 

FEBRUARY

Check stores by hefting the hive. If feeding is required use candy, fondant or bags of sugar. If bees moribund spray with warm thick sugar solution. Dont use thin feed. Take mouseguards off when bees active

Start organising new equipment requirements- frames, feeders, protective equipment etc

 

MARCH

Depending on weather and activity carry out first quick inspection. seal dead hives, and arrange to send samples for diagnosis.

Check food reserves and start feeding with liquid feed. Prepare replacement brood frames

 

APRIL

When warm enough do first full inspection.

Check for disease, varroa infestation, stores, and queen rightness.. Mark queen if this is your practice

Replace old comb (1/3 each year).  Feed stimulating liquid feed

 

MAY

Swarming season starts, so practice regular weekly inspections, looking for polished queen cups, new wax extensions to queen cups etc

Ensure spare hive is ready to collect swarm or for artificial swarming. Add supers. Oil seed rape and early spring flow starts.

 

JUNE

Remove spring honey and feed bees (Remember June gap). Weekly checks for signs of imminent swarming. Add additional space for expanding brood. Monitor varroa levels

 

JULY

Continue weekly checks.Depending on weather, feed or add supers. when wasps appear keep a close eye on hives. Plan autumn migration to heather if appropriate

 

AUGUST

Get bees to heather if weather appropriate. Harvest honey, extract and process. feed bees. Inspect for disease and treat (after honey removal)

 

SEPTEMBER

Asses stores and feed with thick syrup. Remove queen excluder. put varroa strips or other treatments in. Unite weak disease free colonies 

 

OCTOBER

Continue to feed until cluster is formed. Fit mouseguards and weigh down roofs. get ready for the honey show. clean, repair and sterilise surplus equipment

 

NOVEMBER

leave bees alone. keep an eye for storm damage

 

DECEMBER

observe hive for storm damage. keep hive entrance clear of snow

Have a rest