Wake County Beekeepers Association

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Beekeeping Calendar

Management

February

During the last half of February consider adding super/hive body of wax foundation to allow bees to draw out more comb for spring. (Feeding or nectar is required).

Opening the hive on a cold day may lead to chill brood (excessive cooling of eggs, larva and brood).

Set up “bait” hives late this month

March

In nice weather, remove entrance reducer (otherwise wait for April)

Watch out for extended periods of wet, cold weather. Brood production ramps up, but without ability to forage, colonies can starve and die.

Begin supering large colonies in case early flows arrive.

Checkerboard large colonies to help build new comb.

Equalize hives. Consider reversing the hive deeps.

Make early splits

Cull old wax and damaged frames.

Implement swarm prevention - make splits, remove queen cells, checkerboard, remove queen.

Set up “bait” hives.

 April

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.

 May

Keep adding supers, watch for overcrowding

Continue swarm prevention measures

Replace failing queens Make splits
Install packages

 June

Splitting strong colonies if you want to reduce swarming and expand colonies (like getting free bees).

No need for additional honey supers.

Late season splits Replace failing queens

Feed heavy if you are trying to build out comb this time of year.

Last month to expect new comb building.

May start to see lots of bearding, but this is not a sign of impending swarming and indicates the colony is large. No further action needed to stop bees from bearding.

Stack wet supers (post harvesting) above inner cover to allow bees to clean them up.

 July

Add extra ventilation (shims or wedges)

Excessive empty brood area when bee population drops may increase risk of wax moth and hive beetle infestations (not enough bees to defend the hive).

Continue use of reduced entrances for robbing prevention.

Comb building unlikely for remainder of the year.

Look out for empty brood boxes or frames. Reduce numbers of brood boxes as needed.

Will likely see lots of bearding for next 2 months. No action is needed to stop bees from bearding.

 August

Late season splits still possible (requires mated queen)

Continue use of reduced entrances for robbing prevention.

Look out for empty brood boxes or frames. Reduce numbers of brood boxes as needed

 September

Remove queen excluders.

Reduce entrances and mouse guards

Combine weak hive with a stronger one take winter losses now.

Ensure adequate ventilation as weather cools

Right size equipment to match bee population

 October  

This is a good month to combine weak hives or if they have failing queens. It’s better to take losses in the fall.

Continue use of reduced entrances for robbing prevention.

Add mouse guards

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