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    The Monthly Task List for Beginner Keeps

    March 26, 2019

    I created this list of things to try and do to help those of you who may not have a mentor.  It is derived from experience and study and I hope it helps!


    Abbigail Honey BEE ANNUAL TO DO LIST

    Canada Growing Zone 5



    January - The Bees

    • zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Eating honey

    • Shivering for heat

    • Clustered

    • Cleansing flights if it is warm enough

    December and January - The BeeKeeper

    • Building Hives, taking courses, keeping the faith,

    • Order for next year Nuc and or packages

    • Check hive weight on warm days

    • Sneak fondant patty in on top of inner cover without blocking vent hole

    February - the Bees

    • Honey consumption spikes as thermogenesis is turned up for the February cold

    • Egg laying may start

    February - the BeeKeeper

    • Top Up fondant patty for light hives

    • Start buying spring supplies

    • Check weight of hive end month

    March - The Bees

    • Honey consumption increases

    • Bees are getting ready to fly and clean house

    • Egg production ramps up

    • Start receiving and caring for newly laid eggs

    • House cleaning on warm days

    March - The BeeKeeper

    • Order new Queens

    • Starvation risk is high

    • Quick peak under outer cover

    • Feed 2:1 sugar syrup when consistently above 10Cn for light hives

    • Add pollen patties mid-end month

    • Unwrap end of the month

    • First inspection time weather dependant

    • Clean off bottom board

    • Supplemental feeding

    • Start looking for Nosema

    • Early treat for mites with oxalic acid vapour weather permitting

    • Check weight of hive end month

    April - The Bees

    • Cleansing flights

    • Egg production in full swing

    • Pollen gathering starts

    • Drones start to appear

    April - The BeeKeeper

    • First serious inspection

    • Throw out your dead – clean up the bottom board

    • Top up pollen patty

    • Definitely treat for mites – Mite away strips or oxalic acid vapor

    • Move honey stores from dead-outs and save for splits and swarms

    • If you discover a dead mouse in the hive, remove and clean up

    • Check weight of hive end month

    May - The Bees

    • Nectar collection in has started

    • Swarm season ramps up

    • Pollen should have started coming in

    • Are the drones increasing in population? - SWARM

    May - The BeeKeeper

    • Its SWARM season for over-wintered hives

    • Install package bees

    • Practice solid space management in hive

    • Start making early splits end of month

    • Inspect based on 16 day queen cycle during swarm season

    • Check weight of hive end month

    June - The Bees

    • Egg production may drop

    • Swarm season in full swing up to about mid-month

    June - The BeeKeeper

    • Making splits

    • New queens should be available on the market

    • Inspect 10-14 day interval, sooner if required

    • Look for eggs in new package bee hives

    • Check weight of hive end month

    July - The Bees

    • Mostly the same as June

    July - The BeeKeeper

    • No more splits after 15th unless you have a sourced queen and time to feed the colony

    • Honey harvest can begin remembering you need to be at 75-100 pounds of winter honey by end October with a two deep setup

    August - The Bees

    • No more splits after 15th unless you have a sourced queen and time to feed the colony

    • Honey harvest can begin remembering you need 60 lbs in the fall for a two brood box hive

    • Population starts to drop

    August - The BeeKeeper

    • Harvest, monitor population,

    • Start thinking about fall

    • Inspect less frequently so heat and inspections do not make bees cranky

    • Ensure water supply is available

    • Check weight of hive end month

    September - The Bees

    • Winter preparations now full on

    • Drones start to drop

    • Egg laying slows down

    September - The BeeKeeper

    • Treat for Mites

    • Mouse guards if the temperature is cool

    • If not already purchased, source out winter pine for hive construction

    • Check weight of hive end month

    October - The Bees

    • Getting ready to cluster

    • Moving honey around the hive

    October - The BeeKeeper

    • Mouse guard in place

    • Start thinking winterizing and moving colonies

    • Treat for mites

    • Feed 2:1 sugar syrup with fumagillin B or Hive Alive

    • Consider winterizing based on weather

    • Check weight of hive end month

    November - The Bees

    • Last of the drones are gone

    • Most winter bees are in place

    • Clustering at night and cold days

    • Converting sugar syrup to stores

    November - The BeeKeeper

    • Start winterizing, reducing entrances

    • Move hives that need to be moved

    • Finish wrapping by mid month.

    • Check weight of hive end month

    December - The Bees

    • Clustered


    • Check weight of hive end monthht of hive end month


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