Beekeeping Guidlines

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by jays35, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. jays35

    jays35 New Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I am a newbie and was wondering if anyone would share their guidelines on what they do and when? Like medications and what types (if any used)? Checking for new queens? Or if their is a good website for this information.

  2. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:

  3. Walt B

    Walt B Active Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I don't use medications. An easy to read book is Beekeeping for Dummies.

  4. Ray

    Ray Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Guidelines for Beekeeping:
    1) Ask 10 different Beeks a question and you'll get 12 different answers.
    2) What works for a Beek a 100 miles away might not work for you.
    What works for a Beek in a different State probably won't work at all.
    3) Don't believe anything you hear (or read) and only half of what you see.
    4) Find SEVERAL local Beeks and use their knowledge.
    5) Learn the basics before you tackle the advanced stuff.
    6) The problem with beginner Beekeeping books is, they are not written by beginners:shock:. Meaning they have forgotten a lot of the issues a beginner faces.
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 New Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Here's the calendar I've come up with for central New Hampshire. You'll have to adjust it for your area, but it will give you some ideas at least:

    Feed fondant or sugar patties with no more than 3% pollen.

    March: Feed pollen patties to stimulate brood-rearing.

    April, usually mid-April: Pollen from Red Maples and willows becomes available. When you see the bees bringing it in, mark your calendar. In 21 days there will be lots of new bees hatching.

    If hives are light, feed to stimulate wax making and brood rearing (bees will not rear brood if they don't have sufficient stores). Plan on 2-4 gallons per hive.

    End of April: Begin opening the brood nest BEFORE the bees build swarm cells by moving frames on the outside of the brood box up to the next box or out altogether. Move the brood combs to the sides, and put empty frames between two frames of brood, i.e. BBEBBEBB. To prevent chilling brood, make sure that there are enough bees to quickly fill the gap you've left with festooning bees before you insert the frame. If there are not enough bees to manage the empty space, then postpone for another week or so.

    Call the police, fire department, tree surgeons and pest removal services, give them your name for swarm removals.

    May, first half: Get overwintered nucs moved to honey-producing locations. The average last frost in Meredith, NH is between May 11-20.

    If you find swarm cells, the bees are committed. Put every frame with swarm cells in its own nuc with a frame of honey. If you can find the old queen, put her in a nuc with a frame of honey and a frame of brood, and leave a frame with swarm cells in the old hive. You have now simulated a swarm by removing many bees and the old queen.

    The Black Locust bloom is the start of the main flow. They bloom approximately on Memorial Day and last the first week of June. (The second large flow is Linden, or Basswood, and it starts around July Fourth. The third and final large flow is Goldenrod and Asters beginning in late summer and lasting until the first frost.)

    Two weeks before the main flow (i.e. here in central New Hampshire, two weeks before the Black Locust blooms), remove queens and most of the open brood from honey-production hives. Use the queens and brood to start new nucs. The honey harvest of the donor hives will increase because there will be less open brood for bees to care for, and therefore more bees to forage. This will also set you up to make summer splits after the solstice.

    Another method to make a large honey-production hive: combine two hives that are right next to each other - touching is good. After removing most of the open brood and most of the stores and at least one queen, combine the two hives with all the capped brood to make one very strong hive. The foragers, nurse bees and emerging brood will all be available to make a crop.

    Another, easier way of combining the workforce of multiple hives is to set them right next to each other before the main flow, then remove the weaker ones to another spot across the yard when the main flow starts. This results in the remaining hive getting all of the foragers. (Then the trick of course is keeping it from swarming.)

    Inspect every week to prevent swarming. Keep the broodnests open if there are enough bees to handle the empty space, and checkerboard the honey above the broodnests.

    After the summer solstice, make summer splits. Feed splits even if there is a flow on, they don't have enough foragers to feed themselves.

    August, first half: Give the nucs room to expand if they're hanging out of their boxes even early in the morning.

    Feed if there's an August dearth.

    Mid-August: Treat for Varroa. In terms of number of colonies and brood-nest potential, the apiary reaches it's maximum size. Harvest honey. Nucs "on schedule" will have sealed brood no later than mid-august.

    Start feeding as soon as you realize that hives will be light for winter. August is not too early.

    September: Treat for Nosema with Fumigilin-B and for Varroa again around the first of September. There's aster and goldenrod around, but the bees are underemployed. Even if they're busy, the hives may not be gaining weight. Robbing can become serious. Feed syrup if necessary through the end of September. Try to get hives heavy enough so that feeding in spring will not be necessary. Hives without enough bees to overwinter at the beginning of September are unlikely to have enough bees to overwinter at the end of September. Consider combining weak hives. Reduce hives to minimum size. Do NOT leave partially filled boxes of honey on top of the hives. Queens stop laying after the equinox.

    October: Treat again for Nosema around the first. Before the first frost, put mouse guards in. The average first frost in Meredith, NH is between Oct 1-10. After the first frost, feed dry sugar or fondant - syrup may be too cold for bees to take, and it will cause moisture problems. Try not to disturb hives much - let them arrange propolis and stores to their liking.

    November, first half: Move nucs to their winter locations, preferably at the start of a cold spell that will keep the bees inside. Prepare them on sunny days that are cold enough to keep the bees clustered all day: Insulate underneath nucs as well as on top. Foil-faced rigid insulation cut to fit inside the rim on the underside of the bottom board of each nuc, poly feed bag on top to wick away moisture and folded back to expose 1/2" of top bars for ventilation, put insulation on top of the poly feed bag 'inner covers', replace outer covers and weight them down.

    December: Many equipment manufacturers have sales and free-shipping offers.