July 16, 2019

The Beekeeper’s Calendar: January

The bees will spend most of the month in a tight cluster. When the weather is above 40F the bees will move to new areas of the hive and take cleansing flights. Gauge food levels in wintering colonies by lifting one corner of the hive and feeling the “honey weight”. If it is warm (above 40F without wind) you can quickly peek through the hole in the inner cover to see where the bees are in the hive and assess their food reserves. After every snow storm, clear entrances to allow for proper ventilation. Spend some time during this quiet part of the beekeeping year purchasing, assembling and/or repairing beekeeping equipment. Catch up on the stack of beekeeping texts and periodicals you set aside during the busier times of year. If you are a new beekeeper, sign up for a beekeeping course offered by Extension, Adult Education or local beekeeping association. Order packages or nucs for late April-June arrival.

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