Wake County Beekeepers Association

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Beekeeping Calendar 
May

 The Bees

Hives are very active, nectar and pollen should begin to come into the hive thick and fast.

This is the peak of the egg laying season for the queen.

The hive should be bursting with busy buzzing bees.

Watch orientation flights regularly to gage population increases (lawn chair optional).

Local nucs and Queens available.

The Beekeeper

May and June are harvest months for our area.

Inspect the hive weekly.

Attend your bee club meetings and any workshops you can find.

 Inspections

Inspect the hive weekly.

Have a plan before opening the hive. Record observations

Mite checks for any that were not yet treated.

Check supers, move less full frames in, fuller frames out

Queen health, laying

Watch brood pattern (signs of queen productivity)

Good queens will peak egg laying in April and May.

Avoid honey bound condition, give her plenty of room to lay

 Nutrition

Poison Ivy (orange pollen) to 5/23; Tulip Poplar to 5/26;
American Holly, 5/1
5/16; Raspberry, 5/12 6/2; Persimmon, 5/20 6/2; Sumac, 5/23 6/10 Privet, Persimmon, and Sweet Clover will be in bloom

Offer syrup to new package bees to build comb as long as they continue to use it.

Set up water stations.

 Pests

Monitor hive beetles

Install small hive beetle traps.

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

Management  

Keep adding supers, watch for overcrowding

Continue swarm prevention measures

Replace failing queens Make splits
Install packages

 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

Harvest in May, June and early July in a good year.

Melt down wax from cappings and crushed comb and culled frames.

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