Aug
1
Thu
2024
Extractor Use
Aug 1 – Sep 30 all-day
What to do? August
Aug 1 all-day

August is pretty much like July. Nectar supplies are becoming harder to find. Good plants to have planted in your bee yard would be Golden Rod and Aster plants. They are great sources of late summer nectar.

As the beekeeper, Take off your supers, it’s time to harvest. Maybe consider leaving one honey super on the hive for your bees. Do you really need all the honey? it will give them extra stores for the winter and also help eliminate any ’emergency winter feedings’.  Some beekeepers will even store full honey frames for either cut honeycomb or for feeding the hive in January by replacing empty honey frames with saved honey frames. it is best to feed your bees their own food.  Continue to monitor your hive for mites. you could treat after you have harvested your honey supers. How did your queen perform this summer?  This would be an opportunity to requeen if necessary.

 

Sep
1
Sun
2024
What to do? September
Sep 1 all-day

The hive is prepping for winter. Depending on how your summer is going. There are not many sources for nectar right now except for Golden Rod and Aster plants. Your queen will begin to lay fewer eggs and will be laying just enough for the winter workers.  You’ll begin to notice fewer drones and maybe even see them being evicted from the hive.

As the beekeeper, keep inspecting your hive. Be aware of cooler temperatures before opening your hive. Now would be a good time to determine the strength of your hive and evaluate its performance. Check for the queen. How is her laying pattern? Is the laying pattern solid and strong? Does the hive appear weak and have too few bees? You may want to combine with another hive in the same condition to create one stronger hive. Plan on feeding them through the winter if they appear weak and have limited stores at this time going into winter.  Remove all excess supers, and make the hive more compact. Install your entrance reducers and if mice are an issue, mouse guards.

 

Oct
1
Tue
2024
What to do? October
Oct 1 all-day

bees should be moving more into winter stages now. You’ll notice fewer flights. The queen should be slowing down on laying eggs.

As the beekeeper, prepare your hive for winter. build a windbreak if your hive is in the open. A large strong hive will cluster, creating a large ball of bees to keep them all alive. A hive with fewer bees will have a hard time surviving the winter. Moisture can be an issue in the hive. Make sure the hive can ventilate moisture well. Put a small incline/tilt on your hive to encourage any internal moisture to run down the side of the hive rather than drip on top of the bee cluster causing them to freeze. You don’t want your bees wet and cold. Leave your screened bottom board open to allow enough ventilation to happen and reduce moisture. Don’t create any gaps in the upper cover. Don’t wrap your hive for winter, you will increase the chances of condensation. Place a heavy block on your hive lid as you don’t want any chance of it coming off in a harsh winter storm.

 

Oct
31
Thu
2024
Winterization
Oct 31 all-day

Entrance reducer and protection from Winter winds should be in place.  Wind blocks should be placed about 3 ft from the hive. Tilt hive to ensure drainage of excess moisture and to check weight. If stores are light, add some feed, usually fondant

Nov
1
Fri
2024
What to do? November
Nov 1 all-day

Not much going on outside unless you have some unusually warm days for them to leave the hive for cleansing. Otherwise, your bees are most likely all clustered up and staying warm. If the days are warmer, they may break from the cluster and forage for some of their honey stores and do cleansing flights. Then recluster at night when temperatures fall.

 

Dec
1
Sun
2024
What to do? December
Dec 1 all-day

The bees are still just clustering in their hive keeping warm. Only breaking away from the cluster during the warmer days and then reclustering. December is pretty much the same as November. On warmer days after fresh snows. Don’t be alarmed if you see large numbers of dead bees just outside the hive. They’re just cleaning out the hive and doing cleansing flights.

as the beekeeper, you may want to start planning your spring. Are you going to need to order bees? what hardware do you need to add for new hives and or for repairs of existing hives. Be prepared to place your order in January so that you get timely delivery of all you need.

 

Dec
24
Tue
2024
Order Woodenware
Dec 24 all-day

Time to order your woodenware!

 

Jan
1
Wed
2025
What to do? January
Jan 1 all-day

Your bees are most likely all surrounding the queen in a large cluster within the hive. There should be very little activity observed from your hive. except for on our nice warm days we tend to have here. When the outside temperature gets above 40-50 degrees, you should see workers taking the opportunity to get out of the hive. Making cleansing flights for the most part. There are no drones in the hive at this time. The bees would be feeding from their honey stores. so hopefully you left them some of their summer forage to dine on.  The bees do have longer life spans in the winter months. You will still have bee deaths though throughout the winter. On these warmer days, you may see a large number of dead bees outside the hive. This is part of the hive cleanup. Since the dead bees ball to the bottom of the hive, the worker bees will take this warm weather advantage to clean out the dead bees.

As the beekeeper, what should you be doing? Make sure your hive is still in good order,  the lids are on and not detached, and the openings are clear of snow so that the hive can continue to be well-ventilated.  If you left or observed large honey stores in the fall. You should be fine at this time. Although you may need to ’emergency feed’ your bees if it has been unusually warm. You may need to feed the beeswith fondant or sugar water. But otherwise, this is a great time of year to work on honey super repair, order your bees, and new hardware for new hives or expansion. You should not have to spend any time at all with your bees in January other than observing your hive.