Midnite Bee-Beekeeper's: Tips
Midnite Bee's Year in the Apiary
Jan: Assemble and repair beekeeping equipment. read beekeeping texts
Feb: ORDER package bees for late April;-early May arrival. Check
wintering colonies for honey reserves by lifting hives.. Reposition stores
or feed dry sugar if needed(late Feb).
March: Check colony conditions,if food reserves short,feed dry sugar.
Colonies that consume dry sugar should be monitored and fed as needed. protein
supplements for brood production may be started.
April: Continue to monitor food reserves. Feed medicated light sugar
syrup(fumidil). Begin to dust with terramycin. Scrape bottom boards,do not
examine the colony unless the weather permits. Install package bees 4/15
or later and feed light syrup preferably medicated with fumidil. Be sure
to remove and properly dispose the Apistan package strips.
May: Reverse brood chambers and inspect brood pattern for disease
and parasites at dandelion bloom. divide and requeen colonies at fruit bloom
via multiple frame splits or colony divides. Complete the 3rd. dusting with
terramycin in accordance with label directions. Manipulate package bee colony
to add in comb construction and inspect for health. Apply menthol or Apistan
to wintered colonies if needed. Manage colonies for population buildup and
June: Add supers to colonies as needed. Add a second brood chamber
to package colonies. Remove antibiotics and pesticides if colonies are about
to produce surplus honey.
July: Add supers as needed. Harvest honey at the end of July or
when honeyflow slows. Place an empty super on these colonies which have
honey in the 2nd brood chamber or above a queen excluder(inner cover)for
those colonies that have mostly brood in both brood chambers. Colonies which
have excessive brood and adult bee population should left with 1 super full
of honey at harvest time.
August:Extract honey. Manipulate and inspect the colony. Set-up
for fall flow and position brood and honey reserves in anticipation of winter.
Add one super during goldenrod bloom if needed. Unite weak hives.
Sept: Remove supers around Sept.10th. Extract ripe supers. Partially
filled supers should be feed back to the bees above the inner cover. Do
not let bees rob. Reduce entrances,medicate after supers are removed. Feed
syrup if needed.
Oct: Finish feeding medicated syrup(fumidil) and 3rd. TM dusting.
Remove Apistan if colonies were treated. Nov: Provide upper ventilation
via one of the many methods(i.e.)fiberboard,styrofoam,super with insulation,etc.
Wrap colonies with tar paper or commercial wrap if desired by Thanksgiving
at the latest. Sell honey at craft fairs,etc.
Dec: Sell honey at fairs,etc. Leave the bees alone!! Hope for a
January thaw so the bees have a cleansing flight.
ŠTony Jadczak/Maine State Bee Inspector