February 21, 2019

Beekeeper’s Calendar: May

Honeybee visiting an apple blossom, photo © Opal Staudenmaier

Brood rearing is in full force and populations inside the hive will build up quickly. Most of your
time this month will be spent managing for population buildup and swarm prevention. Reverse
brood chambers if necessary and inspect the brood pattern. Check the queen’s performance and for
symptoms of brood disease. Re-queen any hives with failing or poor performing queens. Divide
colonies at fruit tree bloom to recoup winter loss, increase apiary size, and for swarm control. If you
did not get to it in April, sample colonies for Varroa mites using sugar or alcohol roll and if Varroa are
detected above threshold, apply mite treatments. Inspect new package bee colonies for health and
queen condition. Manipulate frames if necessary to aid in comb construction and continue feeding
nucs and package bees until they have drawn out the comb in their brood chambers. Manage new
hives for population buildup and swarm prevention.

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