Beekeeping Calendar

beekeepingJanuary
  • order bees
  • prepare/repair hive and frames
  • make sure mouse blocks are secure
  • review any records you have for individual hives
  • take any necessary notes on hive
  • attend association meetings/lectures/workshops etc.
  • plan for next year and or attend classes
  • make mead or a honey wine from leftover honey
  • make lotions, candles, lip balms, soaps and salves from wax and honey
  • research potential ways to market and sell honey
  • clean suit and tools
  • feed bees a fondant frosting
February
  • order bees
  • prepare hive
  • bees’ cleansing flights (do not close off the hive entrance or bees will defecate in hive)
  • clean suit and tools
  • if concerned about low honey stores feed bees a fondant (it is not frosting, see http://brookfieldfarmhoney.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/making-bee-candy-aka-fondant/ and http://www.bamboohollow.com/fondant-recipe.php)
March
  • order bees
  • prepare hive
  • treat for varroa
April
  • order/receive beesfour bees
  • prepare hive
May
  • add more space if needed
  • if no eggs or larvae are present order another queen
  • check for mites
  • swarm season, try to catch a swarm, buy a swarm trap
June
  • add more space if needed
  • remove queen cells if they are on the bottom
  • check for mites
  • feed sugar water
  • swarm season
  • last month to treat for varroa
July
  • add supers as necessary
  • take precautions against pests such as wasps and mice if necessary
  • honey flow is in process
  • check for mites
  • late swarm season, swarms in July require more care
  • prepare to winterize hives
August
  • harvest honey
  • for some areas last harvest
  • requeen old colonies
  • combine weak colonies
  • feed bees again
Septemberbeekeeping clip art
  • harvest honey
  • should stop feeding sugar water middle of the month
  • add mouse guards
  • if finished harvesting honey, treat for varroa
October
  • reduce hive size
  • can repaint outside of the hive
  • seal any cracks in the hive
  • attach mouse screens
  • put up bird nets
  • treat for varroa
    • never treat for varroa during honey flow as nearly all of the methods are not for human consumption
      • varroa treatments should be completed early spring and winter
    • if you do not treat for varroa you will lose hives after they reach two or three years old
    • varroa treatment methods include a thymol medication such as Apiguard, oxalic acid (a wash or vaporizer method), powdered sugar dusting, and essential oils such as lemongrass oil that deter varroa mites, garlic may also deter the varroa, and a few other methods too
November
  • brush snow away from hive entrance
  • check the hive but do not open it
  • build new hives
December
  • brush snow away from hive entrance
  • check the hive but do not open it
  • build new hives
  • make sure bees are fed over the winter, can feed them a frosting made from powdered sugar
  • clean suit and tools
  • go to classes
Annual Tasks
  • Keep track of the climate and forage. It may be difficult to identify all the sources of foraging for the bees, but probably include vegetables, several types of trees and flowers and clover. Notate what month certain flowers begin to bloom. Notate the weather for each month and year such as whether it was dry year with a poor honey harvest or whether it was rainy. Notate first frost to the best of your ability. Flowers may bloom early or late certain years. You may even want to notate the number of fruit trees or bushes within the bees’ two mile radius.