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Honey Do Beekeeping Checklist for June

June is very exciting and active for beekeepers. It is swarm season for those colonies that made it through the winter and the first month for many beekeepers of executing full inspections.  Many beekeepers will monitor their colonies closely as temperatures fluctuate and humidity increases and drops drastically creating a lot of work for the bees inside their home. Take care to fill out inspection sheets every inspection and track specific details this month because it can be telling about the success of the colony.  There are 2 lists, one for those who have had their hive bees previous to June and one for those installing a Nucleus Colony this month.

CHECKLIST (For beekeeper not installing a nucleus colony)

  • It is swarm season, so be prepared.
  • Observation: If teacup cells are apparent and filled with royal jelly and/or capped, the hive is preparing to swarm. There are 3 options when dealing with this.
    • Preventing 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 efforts to building in new comb and 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 surely postpone swarming.
    • Split the hive to make another colony: Check out the video in the MEMBERS AREA for a great tutorial on how to split the hive.
      • Identify a location to place up to half of the colony and another hive. This might be another Beepod, hive or other natural location.
      • Pull out the queen cell (tea cup) and the surrounding bars.
      • Be sure there is a quality location for the new hive/colony 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 for nature to create feral/wild colonies.  Yet, 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 temperature rises, expect to see more comb attached 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, as seen on the inspection software and inspection sheets.
  • Observation: Massive increase in nectar and honey production as blooms increase in size.
  • Suspend feeding of 1:1 (sugar:water) during this time and replace syrup with straight water, especially as temperature increases.

CHECKLIST (If receiving a nucleus colony or bees)

  • Feeding will not be necessary in the feeder jar, as long as blooms are apparent. Instead, be sure there is a water source.  An easy way is to fill the feeder jar with straight water for the bees.
  • Once bees are installed, LEAVE THEM ALONE for at least 4 days so they can adapt to their new environment.
  • If installing a package of bees, look at the MEMBERS AREA to follow installation instructions and new package maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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