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!