Good Stuff from Ann

HIVE TASKS – First Year beekeepers April, May, June

Goal—all comb drawn by end of June, colony numbers increasing

  1. Feed package bees or nucs 1:1 sugar syrup.
  2. Feed pollen patties until fresh pollen is avail-able.
  3. In small hive beetle (shb) areas, use caution with pollen patties.
  4. Watch returning bees at entrance for evidence of pollen collection.
  5. Keep entrances small until colony numbers increase.
  6. Inspect hives only when weather permits—warn sun, low wind, temperature above 60°F.
  7. Keep colony inspections as brief as possible.
  8. Inspect for presence of queen from eggs, young larvae.
  9. Monitor queen performance with brood pat-tern.
  10. Replace queen if original is dead or is not laying enough eggs to increase colony numbers.
  11. Lightly spray foundation (Langstroth hives) with 1:1 sugar syrup with Honey-B-Healthy® to stimulate drawing comb.
  12. Move follower board (top bar hives) to keep up with comb construction.
  13. Add next brood chamber (Langstroth hives) only when previous one has 90% drawn comb.
  14. Do not consider a honey harvest until all brood chambers have 100% drawn comb and colony is full of healthy bees.
  15. Bottled sugar syrup is not honey! Do not put honey supers on when feeding syrup.
  16. Learn seasonal nectar and pollen plants in your area.
  17. Learn about your bees’ foraging area whether urban, suburban or rural.

HIVE TASKS –2nd and 3rd year beekeepers   April, May, June

  1. Spring Hive Cleaning Time!
  2. Select a day with warm sun, low wind to inspect hives, top to bottom.
  3. Clean off Winter debris from bottom board, whether solid or screen.
  4. Clean up underneath hives.
  5. Clean up apiary and inspect bear fence.
  6. Repair or replace any hive parts that have Winter damage.
  7. Select frames (Langstroth) or bars (top bar hives) with poor or old comb for replacement.
  8. Wait to replace old combs until strong nectar flow.
  9. If replacing comb with foundation spray foundation with 1:1 sugar syrup with Honey-B-Healthy® to stimulate comb building.
  10. Inspect brood pattern and assess colony numbers—does queen need replacement now?
  11. A weak colony, disease-free, can be combined with another colony.
  12. Kill queen in weak hive to be combined.
  13. If any disease suspected, have local apiary inspector or experienced beekeeper inspect colony.
  14. If in small hive beetle (shb) area, keep further hive inspections to a minimum and use shb con-trol methods.
  15. Use your preferred method of swarm prevention. Brood chambers can be reversed at this time if bottom brood chamber is empty.
  16. Do not split brood sphere when reversing.
  17. Continue reversing until nectar flow starts.
  18. Do you know your Spring nectar and pollen plants? If not, learn them.
  19. Are you in an area with Spring nectar flow for honey production?
  20. Have honey supers ready to put on hives.
  21. Monitor the weather during strong nectar flow—increase or decrease honey supers as needed.

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