Wake County Beekeepers Association

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Beekeeping Calendar 
April

 The Bees

Early blossoms appear with improved weather.

Bees continue to bring in pollen.

Laying accelerates, population growing fast.

More package bees available

First of locally produced nucs and queens available.

The Beekeeper

Critical month for area beekeepers, add honey supers in April, do a complete inspection

Prep honey harvest

Attend your bee club meetings.

 Inspections

Do a complete inspection (warm and still day). Queen right? Plenty of eggs and brood? Nice laying pattern?

Pay attention to brood pattern, replace queen if necessary

Watch out for swarming.

Queen health, laying

Look for quantity of eggs and brood pattern (signs of queen productivity)

Good queens will peak egg laying in April and May.

Avoid honey bound condition

 Nutrition

Alsike Clover, Blackberries, Crimson Clover, Ladino (White Clover), Tulip Poplar (second half) of the month), Black Gum, Black Locust, Vetch, Holly, and Raspberries, will be blooming this month.

Nectar flow is usually the heaviest this month.

Monitor syrup consumption. Likely only needed to build comb for packages or when adding empty frames. May discontinue feeding if the syrup is ignored.

 Pests

No pest treatments this month if you plan to harvest honey.

Management  

Remove entrance reducers if not done in March

Consider adding honey super(s), watch for overcrowding

Checkerboard twice

Install packages (take advantage of the poplar flow).

Add queen excluder.

Pay attention to brood pattern, replace queen if necessary

Watch for swarming signs, continue swarm prevention measures

Good comb building month Make splits
S
et up “bait” hives.

 Swarms  

Prime swarm months

Watch for queen cells with larvae, dry cups will always be present and do not mean a swarm is pending.

Ensure plenty of open brood cells to reduce swarm tendencies. Usually requires open brood COMB, as foundation frames take time to build and the colony doesn’t usually wait.

Products of the Hive

Melt down wax from culled frames.

Peak honey production. Some harvest in late April as frames are capped or save until mid-late June.

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