Beekeeping For Beginners – The Beekeeper’s Year
Article by Mark Daymond
This guide to beekeeping for beginners is intended to show how your activities are affected by the changing seasons. As the task of your bees is to gather nectar and covert it into honey it is inevitable that the level of activity both for yourself as a beekeeper and for your bees will vary over the course of the year.
During the spring you should be inspecting your colony regularly in order to ensure that the queen is present and is laying eggs. Also you need to check that there are no signs of disease and that your colony has a food source available until they have access to the first nectar and pollen. You should provide your bees with medication in order to prevent diseases up until early June when you should stop so that it does not get into the honey.
As summer arrives you will need to add more supers hold your honey. You will need to ensure that your bees have plenty of room or there is a possibility that they may swarm. You should continue to monitor your hive (or hives) and add a further super as the centre frames become full of honey. Once the frames are full of honey and half of the cells are covered with wax then it is time to remove the super and frames in order to extract your honey.
When fall arrives you will need to examine your colony to check that it is free of disease and that the queen is still viable. In order to ensure that the bees have enough food for the winter you will need to feed them with sugar and water.
During winter it is mainly a matter of checking your hive to make sure that there are not too many holes and repair as necessary. During the winter you should expect some of your bees to leave the colony and die. As you can see in this guide to beekeeping for beginners, as the making of honey is a natural process, it is not surprising that it is guided by the changing of the seasons.
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Before embarking on beekeeping you should ensure you have all relevant information. To find out more about choosing and maintaining your bee hive visit Beekeeping for Beginners.