Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bee Hive Management Calendar


Here is a short list of things to to each month to best manage your hives.

January

Build your own, or assemble bought equipment.
Make repairs to existing equipment.
Paint your hive boxes.
Check current hives for honey stores.

Feburary

Red Maple Blooms - Here in Georgia, this is the sign I look for each year that tells me it's BUSY BEE TIME!
Brood rearing begins.
Do FIRST FULL inspection as mentioned in prior post. Remember to fully open the hives only when the temperature is at least in the high 50's. This way you won't chill your brood and open the door for worse diseases.

March

Get all of your honey supers ready. Install foundation, repair and paint as needed,
If you will be doing splits, this is the month do to do them.
If you are buying more bees, this it the time to order them and the time also to order your queens if you wish.

April

The busy month.
Honey flow begins
Add supers ad needed, one at a time. Remember to rotate them as you put them on. Only add a super when the one on the hive has at least 7 frames of capped honey.
Swarm prevention
Good time to also do splits. You have to be more careful doing splits this month because you usually can have honey or splits. Split hives will produce less honey if any the first year. If you don't do any splits, then gear up for honey production.
Time to catch swarms (other) and do most of your bee removals, if you wish to pursue that aspect of bee keeping. I can say from personal experience that removing swarms from other peoples homes etc. is very rewarding financially but can also be very demanding and complicated. I will be speaking on doing bee removals in a future blog.
Time to re-queen hives if need be.

May

Honey flow very strong.
Keep a check on full supers and add more as needed.
Ask your doctor for some good back exercises.

June

Honey Flow slowing
Start removing honey supers and extracting your honey!

July

Major honey flow over.
Make sure plenty of water is available for the bees.
Remove full, capped supers. Extract your honey and start selling!

August

Remove all supers with honey.
This is the time to do Fall re-queening.

September

Start winter prep.
Do no splits. Some beekeepers split in the fall. You can only split in the Fall if you plan to feed your bees. Remember my motto - NO WELFARE BEES.
Depending on how far south you live you may have a fall honey flow to start.

October

Winter prep.
Reduce entrance

November

Relax and put your feet up. 
Read read read about beekeeping.
Make beeswax candles. 
Plan on how to improve on last year.

December

Read some more.
Enjoy the holidays!

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