Highlighting: Seasonal Beekeeping Advice
Date(s) - 12/01/2019 - 01/31/2020
Signs of the Season
- Daytime temperatures below 50°F
- No nectar or pollen sources
- Significant rainfall in many areas
Activity in the Hive
- No brood or only hand-sized patches
- Hive population declines to 10 frames of bees
- Cluster activity starts when temps are below 50°F
- Little flight activity when temps are below 50°F
- Queen awaits the first pollen and nectar flows to start laying
☐ Perform quick inspection when temps are above 60°F
☐ Check honey stores – at least 30 pounds per hive remaining
☐ Feed winter pollen patties or fondant sugar candy in hive if inadequate honey stores
☐ Check pollen stores – consider open-feeding pollen substitute
☐ Check empty comb stores and apply additional “para-moth”
☐ Clean and repair stored equipment for spring use
☐ Order bees and queens if necessary
☐ Read and learn from beekeeping publications
- High varroa counts – treat before honey flow starts
- Queenless hives – requeen or combine with a strong hive
- Tracheal mites and Nosema present but not visible
- How many hives do I want to have when summer begins?
- Do I have enough equipment ready to split my hives in spring?
- What treament(s) will I use for varroa control this year?
- Do I have my queen-rearing equipment ready?
- Where will I buy bees and/or queens if I need them?
- Will I become a Master Beekeeper this year?