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

  • Check surplus supers for wax moth.
  • Super up.
  • Extract honey.

February

  • Test for varroa mite levels and treat if necessary, especially if in acute phase.
  • American foulbrood check.
  • Remove honey before applying varroa treatments.
  • 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 or return to hives.

April

  • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in February.
  • Apply varroa treatments if necessary.
  • Prepare hives for wintering down:
    • Feed check
    • American foulbrood check
    • Scrape surplus wax 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 supers stored 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 surplus honey flow is anticipated within 8 weeks.
  • Check all brood frames for American foulbrood.
  • Feed if necessary.
  • Spray or cut vegetation around the hives.
  • Stimulate drone hives for queen rearing.
  • Hives can be split late in the month, or when there are plenty of adult drones present.
  • 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 surplus honey flow is anticipated within 8 weeks, or hives are showing mite damage, or there are more than 40 mites per 300 bees after a sugar shake test.
  • Remove entrance guards.
  • Feed if necessary.
  • Check pollen stores and feed supplements if required.
  • Check all brood frames for American foulbrood.
  • Control swarms.
  • Re-queen hives with mated queens or own 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.
  • Pollen check.
  • American foulbrood check.
  • Rear and mate queens.
  • Swarm control.
  • Super up hives.
  • Re-queen hives.

December

  • Introduce nucleus hives.
  • Check supers for wax moth.
  • Super up.
  • Prepare honey house equipment.
  • Harvest and extract early crops, especially if in the city.