This page is to give the beekeeper a month by month list of tasks that should be performed. The information being offered is in reflection of Tennessee weather conditions. You may have to adjust it for your Agricultural Zone. Please select the Quarter of the year you wish to view by clicking on the appropriate one below.
Extract honey by June 15th in order to have the supers available for the sourwood honey flow in July.
Extracted supers should be returned to the colonies just before dark in order to prevent robbing.
Honey should be packed in all new glass jars and lids or plastic ware. After July 15th, swarms should be combined with weaker colonies.
This is also the time to check for Varroa mites.
This is the time to requeen those colonies that need a new queen.
50-60 pounds of honey per hive will be needed for the colony to survive the winter.
Check your requeened colonies in 10 days for a laying queen. Do not disturb if eggs are present.
Continue extracting full supers of honey. Replace extracted supers on colonies just before dark in order to prevent robbing.
Colonies need to be checked for Varroa mites at this time. If numerous mites are found treat with Wintergreen Oil. (see Natural Treatments page) .
Tracheal mites can be treated by enclosing 1.6 ounces of menthol crystals in a screen wire pouch and placing it on top of the brood chamber. This should be done when the temperature is in the 70′s. Treat if necessary.
Clean all boxes by first removing old wax and propolis. Wash all boxes, lids and bottom boards that are not on the hives with a 10% bleach solution. This is 9 parts water to 1 part bleach. We use a dedicated garden sprayer for this. Then use a high pressure washer to remove all dirt and propolis. Let air dry until all moisture is removed. When this is done, fill all cuts, seams and dings with White Lightning 3006 adhesive caulk. This caulk has very little out gassing. Let dry 4 – 5 hours and then paint only the outside of the hive, top and bottom of the rims.
Any combs with more than 2 square inches of drone cells should be culled and rendered into blocks of wax.