A beekeeper's diary

January

  • Check hive entrances - clear/predator damage
  • Oxalic/lactic acid treatment for Varroa
  • Heft to check stores

February

  • Check stores/emergency feeding
  • Check hive entrances - clear/predator damage
  • Oxalic/lactic acid treatment for Varroa
  • Prepare new frames of foundation

March

    • Check stores/emergency feeding
    • Hive records - get the new sheets/book all ready
    • Replacing brood boxes/floors/queen excluders and general cleaning up.
    • Varroa monitoring and treatment with Apiguard or similar
    • First inspection (only if warm and not too windy)
    • Queen clipping and marking (only if warm enough)

    April

      • Regular hive inspections - check for queen, space, stores, swarming and disease
      • Easing old frames to edges for replacement
      • Varroa monitoring and treatment before first supers in place
      • Super in plenty of time early in the season

      May

        • Supering - add another when bees are on 75% of frames
        • Remove and extract rape honey as soon as ripe
        • Weekly inspections - look closely for queen cells
        • Have equipment for artificial swarming ready
        • Monitor Varroa

        June

        • Beware of the June Gap when there's a decrease in nectar for bees
        • Monitor and treat for Varroa (non-chemical with supers on)
        • Full disease inspection
        • Weekly inspections - look closely for queen cells

        July

          • Still supering and extracting
          • Reduce entrances to prevent wasps and robbers

          August

              • Finish honey removal
              • Full disease inspection
              • Varroa treatment with Apiguard or similar
              • Clean supers for storage
              • Unite small colonies

              September

                  • Estimate stores and feed syrup for winter
                  • Remove varroa treatments

                  October

                      • Ensure ventilation
                      • Check enough feed
                      • Fit mouse guards and woodpecker nets
                      • Sort and clean spare equipment for storage
                      • Monitor varroa drop

                      November

                          • Check entrances are clear
                          • Sterilise and mend stored equipment

                          December

                                • Check hive entrances - clear/predator damage
                                • Oxalic/lactic acid treatment for Varroa
                                • Put your feet up and enjoy Christmas!