Default header image

Beekeeper’s Checklist

A list of suggested beekeeping activities throughout the year

The dates are approximate and will vary year to year. Colonies can be opened at temperatures above 10°C and frames can be removed at temperatures above 15° C.

For more information about pest and disease control see:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/inspection/bees/2017-treatment.htm

Mid April

– check for colony mortality and remove dead hives from the apiary

– AFB preventative treatment

Late April

– unwrap hives

– test colony weight by tipping hive or inspecting frames

– feed sugar syrup if necessary

– AFB preventative treatment

– monitor for varroa mite levels, treat if necessary

Early May

– brood chamber inspection

– swarm prevention – add 1 or 2 honey supers per hive above the queen excluder when the brood chamber is close to being full of bees

– remove entrance reducers when dandelions come into bloom

Late May

– brood chamber inspection

– swarm control where necessary – remove all swarm cells if queen is still laying

– add honey supers as necessary

– split hives for swarm prevention and to increase colony count (introduce a locally produced queen cell to the new queenless colony)

– install nucleus colonies or splits into new hives and feed sugar syrup to aid comb building on new frames

Early June

– split hives for swarm prevention and to increase colony count (introduce a mated Ontario queen or queen cell to the new queenless colony)

– swarm control if necessary

Late June

– add honey supers as necessary

-requeen colonies as necessary with mated queens produced in Ontario (requeening is possible from June to early September)

Early July

– add honey supers as necessary with the goal of all supers being full at the desired harvest time in late July/early August

Late July/Early August

– harvest summer honey and add a super with empty comb to each colony for later nectar flows, package honey in containers

– brood chamber inspection

August

– super as necessary for August and early September nectar flows

– monitor for varroa mite levels and treat if necessary

Mid September

– harvest fall honey, package honey in containers

– brood chamber inspection

– feed sugar syrup – 4 gallons of 2:1 syrup per hive

– medicate for AFB prevention

– varroa mite control

Early November

– remove mite control products

– prepare colonies for winter- wrap, insulate, install entrance reducers, provide upper entrance

– render beeswax

Winter

– buy and assemble bee equipment

– order supplies

– order nucs, queens for next season

– education – beekeeper association meetings, reading, watch our HBRC ‘how to videos’, register for quality beekeeping courses