The Beekeepers Calendar
Year and Guide to Bee Keeping Throughout the Year
calendar year of what to do at each stage of the year in
keeping honey bees. Know when to feed, when to harvest and when to
stock the hives among other things. By following our basic
guide to bee keeping you should have a very
successful year. On that page you will also be able to find free
plans for homemade hives, and honey extractors.
A BEEKEEPERS CALENDAR FOR SPRING
calendar for spring is really busy.
hemisphere, or mid-August
those in the southern hemisphere, spring
is around the corner and your bees are happy to have survived the
winter. However, they need your help.
Spring is the time to provide your bees
with some quick and easily accessible food in the form of sugar syrup
as available nectar is still scarce. Wait until the end of the
following month to remove the cover, or when the weather has warmed up.
Remember too, that you should have
plants on your farms and homesteads for the honey process to
For those of you who are wanting to
start bee keeping, spring is the time to start your new hive.
spring make regular visits to the hive - at least once a week,
especially from mid-April
the northern hemisphere, mid-October
those in the southern hemisphere, during the time when the bees are
making honey. Weekly inspections should continue until fall/autumn when
start to cover up the hive again for winter.
it is important that you
make sure that the queen bee has not laid eggs in the honey store. One
do this by adding the removable supers and fix in place the queen
In order to prevent the bees from
swarming, look for any
queen cells which are longer than the rest and pointed. These need to
be destroyed and are often built in areas within the hive that are
difficult to find. When you do find them, squash them with a hive tool.
However, if you need to replace your existing queen bee with a younger
then leave them alone.
As soon as the outer hive frames of the
brood box are beginning to fill up with either brood or honey, you
should fix the super. This allows the bees to store honey in the super,
while the queen continues to lay eggs in the brood box. Thus making
life much easier for you when you want to remove the super and not
having to worry about injuring the queen in any way.
A BEEKEEPERS CALENDAR FOR SUMMER
if you thought that the beekeepers calendar for spring was
wait for summer!
Summer is a busy time for
keeper. The hive should be visited weekly and inspected
of the bees and to see how full the hives are becoming, and to see
whether the queen is still present.
You will know if your queen
present by looking at the cells and the new eggs. If there are eggs
present, the queen was there at least 2 day's ago. If you don't see any
new eggs, but only bee larva, that means that she was there 3-8 day's
ago. Therefore finding larva is not enough, you need to look for new
To prevent over-crowding
should be removed when the cells have been capped and the honey
removed, new supers added and any new queen cells detected should be
Summer is also the time when your bees
could swarm. They do this when they don't have enough room
for all the
bees in the present hive as the queen can lay more than 2000 eggs a
day, resulting in many more bees for your hive than it can readily
accommodate if left unchecked. The problem is that once they do start
swarming, half the hive will leave, along with the queen bee, leaving
you with the rest of the bees without a queen. These bees will be
useless until they get a new queen or the old one is returned.
If you manage to find the swarm you can
always capture them again and start a new hive. Entice
the new swarm to stay by filling their feeder with sugar
syrup. If, however you don't find
the swarm because they have traveled too far, you will need to go back
to your hive and working through the frames, destroy all but one of the
queen cells that has a viable queen larva in it. Within 25 days a queen
will hatch, and within 10 days will begin laying eggs.
By late summer the queen's egg
production will begin to drop off and the chance of swarming has
A BEEKEEPERS CALENDAR FOR FALL / AUTUMN
The beekeepers calendar
for fall / autumn is
now winding down.
Fall is the season when your queen bee's
egg laying is
dramatically reduced, the drones begin disappearing and your hive
population decreases. However, be aware too that this is the time that
other bees could be on the look out for honey and could end up robbing
If you have done your job of beehive maintenance in summer,
when autumn comes around, all you have to worry about is extracting the
main bulk of the honey. Harvesting the honey is done from late summer
or early fall / autumn.
It is always wise not to rob the beehive of too many frames of
honey. This is because the honey is really for the bees to tide them
over winter and if you remove all the honey your bees will die. Leave
at least 60 pounds of honey behind if you have very cold
in addition, make up a sugar syrup for them; 1 kg of
sugar to 500 ml of
water. Check to see if you need to fill up the feeder
with more syrup
If your winters are mild then you will need to keep back 30-40
pounds of honey for your bees.
Fall is also the time that you should guard against the
by placing some
medicated strips of plastic into the hive.
Suspend 2 such strips in the brood chamber between the frames of the
brood and remove them after 6 weeks.
A BEEKEEPERS CALENDAR FOR WINTER
calendar for winter is the time that
the bee keeper
can relax. The cold weather inhibits the bees' movements,
remain in their hives. In order to help your bees survive the winter,
you will need to minimize the loss of internal heat in the hive by
narrowing the opening to the hive. You can do this with blocks of wood
so that a very small opening exists, but still allowing for good
If the bee hive doesn't have enough
will form, turn to ice, and will prove deadly for your bees.
Leave the hive undisturbed throughout the winter, and only
open again in the spring, when the weather has warmed up considerably.
A BEEKEEPERS CALENDAR - CONCLUSION
We hope that this beekeepers calendar year will guide you in your
quest for good beekeeping and hive maintenance throughout the
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