Blandford and Sturminster Beekeepers Association
Blandford and Sturminster Beekeepers Association

Apiary Jobs - Month by Month

Not all of these will be necessary each month, but consider each item

 

January

 

Oxalic acid treatment (if wanted)
Visit apiary, particularly during/after wind amd rain
Check straps, mouse guards, woodpecker protection
Check hive entrances are clear (snow?)
Make repairs
Check stores
Check stored combs for wax moth. Re-wax all the old dirty frames
Scrape off the wax and propolis from all you queen excluders
Read last year's hive record and make/review plans for coming year
Read a bee book to reconnect


February

 

Check hives for damage
Check stores; bees need to raise cluster temperature,

                    make sure they do not run out of food
Monitor varroa levels if no recent treatment applied
Check stored equipment, esp drawn super comb
Set Asian Hornet traps

 

Health Check

 

Open brood cells:


Either a single egg at the base or


one developing larvae which should be:


*  ‘C’ shaped,
 * in the base of the cell,
 * be pearly white
 * have finely defined body segments.

 

Sealed brood cells:


Completely closed cappings in blocks looking very much like a digestive biscuit.
Greasy, sunken or perforated cappings suggest disease - gently lift and scrape with a match stick. Cappings that are being built have a hole in the centre and will be adjacent to open brood. Cappings which are perforated usually have jagged holes to one side.

 

 

 

 

March

 

Quick check for presence of bees - clean out any dead hives

Quick check for presence of queen - look for eggs (when slightly warmer)
Check for stores and feed if necessary
monitor varroa
Remove mouse guards (if used)
Mark and clip queens
Clean hive floor in good weather

If a hive is not thriving, test for Nosema
If weather bad, feed pollen supplement
Get record cards ready
Make any new frames needed
When warm do a disease inspection
Replace old and dark comb (Bailey comb change?)
Watch for swarm cells toward end of month

 

April

 

Start regular checks of brood box
Full check for bee diseases
Add supers
Carry out comb change, sook swarm or Bailey
Clean hive floor


May

 

Regular checks
Swarm control
Artificial swarms for increase
Drone brood culling
Add supers
Consider harvesting honey


June

 

Regular checks
Swarm control
Drone brood culling
Monitor for varroa
Add supers


July

 

Check for queen cells
Unite weak colonies


August

 

Harvest honey
Full check for brood diseases
Monitor varroa
Consider anti-varroa treatment


September

 

Start feeding


October

 

Feed
Put on mouse guards
Protect against woodpeckers
Increase air flow


November

 

Heft to check stores
Prepare frames for next season

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