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Midnite Bee's Year in the Apiary



Jan: Assemble and repair beekeeping equipment. read beekeeping texts and periodicals.

Feb: ORDER package bees for late April;-early May arrival. Check wintering colonies for honey reserves by lifting hives.. Reposition stores or feed dry sugar if needed(late Feb).

March: Check colony conditions,if food reserves short,feed dry sugar. Colonies that consume dry sugar should be monitored and fed as needed. protein supplements for brood production may be started.

April: Continue to monitor food reserves. Feed medicated light sugar syrup(fumidil). Begin to dust with terramycin. Scrape bottom boards,do not examine the colony unless the weather permits. Install package bees 4/15 or later and feed light syrup preferably medicated with fumidil. Be sure to remove and properly dispose the Apistan package strips.

May: Reverse brood chambers and inspect brood pattern for disease and parasites at dandelion bloom. divide and requeen colonies at fruit bloom via multiple frame splits or colony divides. Complete the 3rd. dusting with terramycin in accordance with label directions. Manipulate package bee colony to add in comb construction and inspect for health. Apply menthol or Apistan to wintered colonies if needed. Manage colonies for population buildup and swarm control.

June: Add supers to colonies as needed. Add a second brood chamber to package colonies. Remove antibiotics and pesticides if colonies are about to produce surplus honey.

July: Add supers as needed. Harvest honey at the end of July or when honeyflow slows. Place an empty super on these colonies which have honey in the 2nd brood chamber or above a queen excluder(inner cover)for those colonies that have mostly brood in both brood chambers. Colonies which have excessive brood and adult bee population should left with 1 super full of honey at harvest time.

August:Extract honey. Manipulate and inspect the colony. Set-up for fall flow and position brood and honey reserves in anticipation of winter. Add one super during goldenrod bloom if needed. Unite weak hives.

Sept: Remove supers around Sept.10th. Extract ripe supers. Partially filled supers should be feed back to the bees above the inner cover. Do not let bees rob. Reduce entrances,medicate after supers are removed. Feed syrup if needed.

Oct: Finish feeding medicated syrup(fumidil) and 3rd. TM dusting. Remove Apistan if colonies were treated. Nov: Provide upper ventilation via one of the many methods(i.e.)fiberboard,styrofoam,super with insulation,etc. Wrap colonies with tar paper or commercial wrap if desired by Thanksgiving at the latest. Sell honey at craft fairs,etc.

Dec: Sell honey at fairs,etc. Leave the bees alone!! Hope for a January thaw so the bees have a cleansing flight.

ŠTony Jadczak/Maine State Bee Inspector


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