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The Beekeeping Year

The following list is an example of a beekeeping year for people in UK latitudes.

January Check roof and entrances of hives for blockages by leaves or snow
February Check hives for food, feed as necessary. Keep inspection time to the absolute minimum
March [list_item]Change/clean floor[/list_item] [list_item]Continue to monitor food levels[/list_item] [list_item]Monitor Varroa levels, this continues through the season from now on. High levels of mites found will need treating sooner rather than later.[/list_item]
April [list_item]First inspection on mild day, checking health , food, queen is ok (Queenright)[/list_item] [list_item]Replace old comb[/list_item]
May [list_item]Start weekly swarm prevention inspections[/list_item] [list_item]Add honey supers as necessary[/list_item] [list_item]If hives require new queens then start the breeding and swarm prevention measures[/list_item]
June [list_item]Continue the weekly swarm prevention inspections and add supers as required[/list_item] [list_item]If the bees have been getting nectar from early Oil Seed Rape (OSR) then this honey will need to be removed.[/list_item]
July [list_item]Continue adding honey supers as required[/list_item] [list_item]Continue inspections and monitoring hive health.[/list_item]
August [list_item]Remove the main honey crop[/list_item] [list_item]This is the best time of year to treat for Varroa[/list_item] [list_item]Restrict the hive entrance to prevent other bees or wasps from robbing the hives[/list_item]
September [list_item]Feed the bees in preparation for the winter[/list_item] [list_item]Remove any Varroa strips at end of treatment period[/list_item] [list_item]Sort out how many hives you want to start next year with by reducing your hive count, combining two into one[/list_item]
October [list_item]No further internal inspections from now on[/list_item] [list_item]Fit mouse guards ready for the onset of winter[/list_item]
November [list_item]Check externals routinely especially after severe weather in case of storm damage.[/list_item]
December [list_item]As November, but also attend association meetings and prepare plans for next year[/list_item]

About beeadmin

An amateur beekeeper based in Northamptonshire, UK.