Simon's Monthly Tips
May is the heyday for the hives. There should be a nice buzz of activity at the entrance.
When you open the hive, look for nectar and pollen stores, and make sure there’s a nice laying pattern in the brood chambers. Also keep an eye out for swarming behavior and queen cell production.
One of the most common reasons for unwanted swarming activity is because the queen has nowhere left to easily lay. swarming can often be prevented by introducing empty frames of comb or fresh frames of foundation in the brood chamber. Sometimes surplus frames of honey and remnants of winter stores will need to be removed from the brood chamber. These can either be processed or stored to add later, in times of famine or to boost a new swarm or nucleus.
Once full production begins, you can place a super on the hive.
- Regular inspections, checking especially for queen cells
- Ensure there is space in the brood area for egg laying to prevent swarming
- Add supers when needed
- Divide colonies and breed new queens if this is your plan
- Prepare for honey production soon
- Update records
- Spare frames, hives, nuc boxes, supers and queen excluders
- Fondant based and liquid feeders and feeds
- Protective clothing
- Small tools, smokers and brushes
- Extraction equipment, honey storage and jars