Honey Do Beekeeping Checklist for June

June is exciting and active for beekeepers. It’s swarm season for the colonies that made it through the winter and the first month for many beekeepers to do full inspections. Many beekeepers will monitor their colonies closely as temperatures and humidity fluctuate, creating a lot of work for the bees inside their home. 

Be sure to fill out inspection sheets during every inspection and track specific data to help predict the success of the colony. There are two lists below: one for those who already have their bees and one for those installing a nucleus colony this month.

CHECKLIST (for Beekeepers Who Already Have Their Bees)

  • It’s swarm season, so be prepared
  • Observation: If you see teacup cells, and they are filled with royal jelly and/or capped, the hive is preparing to swarm. There are three options to deal with this bee behavior.
    • Prevent a swarm: Remove the queen cells completely from the colony  
      • Completely remove the bars with queen cells and insert blank bars between fully drawn out comb bars (Checkerboard in bars with zero comb) 
      • This will redirect the workers’ efforts to build new comb instead of constructing queen cells and feeding queen larvae. This may happen if the beekeeper has not expanded the space for the bees to build early in the season. This is not a guarantee but will postpone swarming.
    • Split the hive to make another colony: Check out the video in the Beepods Lab for a great tutorial on how to split the hive.  
      • Identify a location to place up to half of the colony in another hive.  This might be another Beepod top bar hive, a different hive design, or a natural location, like inside a tree trunk
      • Pull out the queen cell (teacup) and the surrounding bars
      • Be sure the location you choose for the new hive/colony is high-quality as the bees may not feel the same as a human would about location
    • Let the colony swarm naturally (Not recommended for urban areas):  Let the bees naturally create another colony. This is extremely helpful in  nature to create feral/wild colonies. However, this is not the best choice for urban areas.  
      • Urban swarms: If the original queen has a clipped wing, the swarm will land right outside the main entrance. Place a landing pad/platform in front of the entrance and transfer the swarm to the Harvest Box for transportation to an alternate location
  • As temperatures rise, expect to see the bees attach more comb to the sides of the hive. 
  • Be sure to help the bees by opening and closing the vent boards daily, based on the temperature and humidity. You can see what this looks like using our Health Hive Management Software and our Beepods Inspection forms
  • Observation: You should notice a massive increase in nectar and honey production as blooms increase in size and abundance
  • Suspend feeding of 1:1 sugar to water solution during this time, and replace the syrup with straight water, especially as temperatures increase

CHECKLIST (IFor Beekeepers Installing a Nucleus Colony)

  • You don’t need to use the feeder jar to feed your colony, as long as you see lots of blooms. Instead, be sure to provide your bees with a water source. For example, you can fill the feeder jar with straight water and place inside the hive for your bees
  • Once you install your bees, LEAVE THEM ALONE for at least four days so they can adapt to their new environment
  • If installing a package of bees, sign in to Beepods Lab to find installation instructions and new package maintenance walkthroughs
This checklist was created for beekeepers specifically in Midwest, USA.  It may need to be adjusted for other beekeepers based on weather, location and other environmental factors.  This list will be updated and variations will be created over time as needed.  If you would like to help with the development of these checklists, please, contact us. 
Always be sure to check Beepods.com for updated lists or information in the Members Resource Area.
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