A Year at Bees of the Woods Apiary: June

| 6/20/2016 12:05:00 PM

Tags: honeybees, bees, beehives, beekeeping, honey, Jennifer Ford, New York,

The month of June is another busy one at Bees-of-the-Woods Apiary. With the pollen and nectar coming in, it is important to stay on top of what is going on in the hives this month.

Honey Supers

Bee on Dandelion

Here in the Northeast, May and June usually have a great nectar flow. The maple trees and dandelions start blooming in April, and the bees take full advantage! It is important to check the hives to make sure they have enough room to store the nectar and honey. If they do not have enough honey supers, they will begin to store honey in the brood chamber, giving the queen less room to  lay eggs!

A good rule of thumb is that if 8 out of 10 framers are mostly full, it’s time to add another super. In late April or early May, we place a queen excluder over the top brood box. A queen excluder is a type of screen with openings big enough for the worker bees to pass through, and small enough to keep the queen from moving into the super. That way, when it’s time to extract, there is nothing but honey in those supers.

Now, some beekeepers call queen excluders “honey excluders”. They say it can slow down the bees – that they won’t store as much honey. A little trick that can help avoid this problem is to put the queen excluder on sideways. It will stick out the sides, but leaves space in the front and back for the bees to move more freely. Also, if we are using brand new frames that have not been drawn out, we will leave the queen excluder off for about a week so they can draw out the frames before we put it on.

Avoiding Swarms

Brood pattern frame

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