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Seasonal Management

Maintain your hive all year round by following our seasonal management recommendations.

Browse our monthly recommendations below or download the seasonal management guide.

January

  • Super up.
  • Extract honey.

February

  • Harvest honey and treat for varroa (remember to alternate treatment types).
  • Carry out disease inspections once honey is removed.
  • Extract honey.
  • Late summer queen rearing.
  • Check for wasps.

March

  • Test for varroa mite levels and treat if necessary.
  • Extract honey.
  • Re-queen hives.
  • Check for wasp damage.
  • Sell or store honey crop.
  • Store honey supers.


April

  • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in February.
  • Apply varroa treatments if necessary.
  • Prepare hives for wintering down:
    » Feed check
    » Disease check
    » Scrape surplus wax and propolis from hive parts
    » Check bottom boards and fit entrance reducers
    » Replace rotten hive parts or tape up any holes to
    minimise robbing by bees or wasps
    » Control weed growth and check hives are
    protected from stock
    » Apply mouse bait if necessary

May

  • Test for varroa mite levels and treat if necessary.
  • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in March.
  • Feed sugar syrup if needed.
  • Winter hives down.
  • Bring in any empty supers still on hives.
  • Sort combs before storage.
  • Freeze combs for wax moth control.

June

  • Render down wax.
  • Make up new equipment for coming season.

July

  • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in May.
  • Make up new equipment for replacement or increase of hives.

August

  • Prepare for new season’s work.
  • Get queen-raising equipment if you are going to rear your own queens.
  • Assemble feeding equipment and supplies of sugar.
  • Check grass spraying or cutting gear.
  • Assemble frames for new season and have wax or plastic foundation on hand.

September

  • Apply a varroa treatment if mite levels are too high.
  • Check all brood frames for American foulbrood.
  • Feed if necessary.
  • Spray or cut vegetation around the hives.
  • Stimulate queen rearing hives or any hives you want to split.
  • Hives can be split late in the month, or when ambient air temperatures are above 17 degrees.
  • Unite any weak or queenless hives with stronger queenright hives, especially if you prefer not to increase hive numbers.
  • Prepare for queen raising programme.

October

  • Apply varroa treatment if hives are showing mite damage, or there are more than 40 mites per 300 bees after a sugar shake test.
  • Remove entrance reducers.
  • Feed if necessary.
  • Check pollen stores and feed supplements if required.
  • Check all brood frames for American foulbrood (remove all bees from the frames first).
  • Conduct swarm check.
  • Re-queen hives with mated queens or queen cells.
  • Split hives.

November

  • Remove any varroa strip treatment products applied in early September.
  • Check that treatments have worked, especially if using organic treatments.
  • Feed.
  • Check pollen levels.
  • Conduct disease checks.
  • Carring out queen rearing.
  • Conduct swarm checks.
  • Super up hives.
  • Re-queen hives if required.

December

  • Make up nucleus hives.
  • Conduct swam checks.
  • Super up.
  • Prepare honey house equipment.
  • Harvest and extract early crops, especially if in the city.