The Beekeepers Year
Updated: Mar 4
January is the month you go down the pub and contemplate the forthcoming year. It’s a very quiet month for beekeepers. Of course if you don’t drink and are participating in dry January, you’d better find something else to do! Perhaps hibernate like the bee’s.
February is another quiet month, and its best to leave your hive/s alone. Do not be tempted to take a look inside, because what you will actually be doing is breaking the seal of resin that bee’s have built up to seal themselves in over the winter. You are putting your whole colony at risk by opening up the hive in this month. Read some beekeeping literature, join a bee association, or meet up with some fellow bee keepers to discuss how the previous year went for them.
March is the month things are beginning to happen, bee’s will start foraging for spring plants, snowdrops, and other early plants. I will go into my hives in March to see what has been happening over the winter. If bee’s are not flying in and out of your hive/s you have lost whole colonies, so you need to replace them. If this is the case you get in touch to buy some. You might be thinking about buying bee’s for the first time or doing a course. You can book a place onto my intensive weekend beekeeping course that is running in June. It’s very practical and will give you all the skills you will need to take up the art of beekeeping in the summer.
April is the month the Queen will start laying her eggs like no tomorrow to build up brood for the following year. It’s a month where you might be splitting hives, if you have really healthy full brood and have perhaps been keeping bee’s for a number of bees and feel confident in your abilities.
May is swarm month, and a good beekeeper will have done all they can to prevent their hives from swarming. Swarming is a natural process and usually takes place when there is overcrowding in a hive, or the superceeding a of queen.
June is the month when I run my courses. Book on one now if you haven’t already done so. You will learn lots. All my feedback from the previous courses I have been running over the last few years has been extremely positive. On my courses, I will give you all the skills over a weekend to try your hand at beekeeping, or after doing the course you might decide that beekeeping is not for you. Either way its money well invested as the best investment you can make is in your self and your own education.
July Is simply a month for doing an inspection in my hives and making sure supers have spare frames for honey comb building by the bee’s. I might start making up frames ready for next year. I will be visiting other beekeepers and inspecting other hives I manage around the county.
I often do extractions of honey in August, preparing to sell it on hot sunny days, usually on a Friday.
September is the month you are selling honey, if you have had a successful year. You might want to treat your hives for Varoaa mite, depending upon your ethos or disposition.
October is the month I clean all my equipment and hives and start to think about what maintenance needs doing on my hives.
November the month I winterize all my hives during this month. This process can take me weeks because I have about 18 hives. All the supers should have been removed from your hives by now, and you may have added sheets of newspaper to the bee divider or crown board to ensure the bee’s have sealed themselves in.
December is the month you should be putting your feet up and reflecting upon how your year has gone. You should be putting your Christmas lights and trees up and getting ready to celebrate. It’s a quiet month for beekeeping.
Happy Bee keeping, and if you haven’t already been in touch, please do !