Wake County Beekeepers Association

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Beekeeping Calendar

Nutrition

 January

Ironwood or Coma bloom.

Carefully check amount and location of honey stores, and feed
2 to1 syrup, candy board or fondant if <3/4 super of stored honey left.

May need dry sugar added if low on stores.

Some natural pollen sources available. Bees may gather dry pollen substitute if offered.

Add pollen supplements if desired to boost brood production. Once you start feeding, you may need to continue if natural pollen isn’t present due to brood buildup.

February

Red Maples bloom 1st thru March 12th. (green pollen)

Willow (yellow pollen)

A colony rearing brood will consume about 10 pounds of food per week, a colony with small food reserves can starve during bad weather (below 15 pounds, start feeding honey or 1 to 1 sugar water or fondant or dry sugar.

May need dry sugar added if low on stores.

March

Sugar maples, dandelions (orange pollen), ornamentals, fruit trees, red bud will start blooming this month.

The bees will continue to consume honey stores.

They will also bring in a fair amount of pollen during this month.

Feed 1 to 1 sugar water if starting new colonies or to boost small ones.

Pay attention to long periods of wet cold weather. Colonies at risk of starvation or brood death if unable to bring in new nectar and pollen for large brood nests.

 April

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.

 May

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.

 June

Sumac to 6/12; Vitex about 6/10 - ; Clover

Set up water stations.

Pollen sources abundant, but nectar sources dwindle.

Dearth begins the second half of June

 July

Clover to 7/25; Coreopsis, 7/25 10/8, Heartsease and Smartweed bloom this month.

Keep water available constantly

Pollen sources still available, almost no natural nectar sources in sufficient quantities to feed colonies with no honey stores. Will need feeding of syrup

Nectar dearth in full swing

 August

Nectar dearth in many areas, may begin to ease late in the month

Goldenrod, 8/1 10/15; Snowpeas before 8/14; Stickweed after 8/14

Feed 1 to 1 or maybe 2 to 1 sugar water

Caution on feeding pollen because of abundant hive beetles.

Do not over harvest

Keep water available constantly

 September

Goldenrod 8/1 10/15; Coreopsis; Asters, 9/20 10/30.

Fall nectar flow may take place

Remember to leave at least 40 pounds of honey for the hive to get through the winter.

Keep water available constantly

Feeding continues until the bees will take no more syrup. Feed 2 to 1 sugar water

Some large colonies will gain weight from fall nectar, but cannot be relied upon to build weight for winter.

Check those that had good honey stores to ensure they didn’t burn through it.

 October

Goldenrod 8/1 10/15; Coreopsis; Asters, 9/20 10/30.

Last reliable month to add weight to colony. Hive should be very heavy with cured honey.

Feed 2 to 1 sugar water

Natural pollen sources still available.

 November

Feed 2 to 1 sugar water or candy boards

Only neglected colonies that weren’t fed earlier will NEED solid feed this early.

Natural pollen sources still abundant.

 December

Feed 2 to 1 sugar water or candy boards

Natural pollen still available to bees in our area.

May need dry sugar or fondant added if low on stores.

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