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The Monthly Task List for Beginner Keeps

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!


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

Cole Harbour, NS Canada
GST/HST 752244525


    ©2020 by Abbigail Honey