07917 677667 beesatbobs@btinternet.com RJ beekeeping, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

August 2020.

Time to remove any crop for extracting (remembering to leave plenty for the bees) and consider any treatments (if done). As wasps become a pest it can help the bees by reducing entrances (or fitting mouse guards early) to help prevent robbing. Weekly inspections should continue to monitor health and ensure space for any late flow; along with ensuring colonies are queen right for the winter ahead! Feed needs to be sorted ready to administer (when treatments are complete) and making sure that hives are weather proof.

July 2020

I find it hard to believe but with colonies now at their peak in numbers, the season is on the wane!

Weekly inspections need to continue but the swarm impulse should diminish; though do ensure plenty of space for any nectar flow over the coming months. Any artificial swarms should be monitored for build up and colonies with raised queens should be watched to ensure the queen is properly mated.

The way this season has gone there could be a sudden flow, requiring empty supers for space; or a sudden dearth meaning feed may be required. It is not too early either to start thinking of feed and treatments ready for autumn and dare I say winter ahead!!

June 2020

The season is in full swing now. Weekly inspections should be the norm; ensuring any signs of swarming can be dealt with to avoid nuisance to the public. Allow plenty of space (so put supers on early to cater for any flow). If you have Rapeseed Oil near your hives then extract the honey so soon as the flowers fade in the field to prevent it setting solid in the comb. Health and build up should be monitored and that queens are laying normally.

May 2020

The active season underway; weekly inspections should be done to ensure colony build up, that the queen is laying, the colony has stores (in which case fondant can be removed),there is space (add supers early), all is healthy and seems right for the time of year. Mouse guards can be removed. Watch for drones appearing in the colony and then be aware of any swarm preparations (have nucs or spare hives ready).

The Oil Seed Rape is coming into flower (fields turning yellow) so have supers prepared and add early to prevent a lack of space). Remember that as the yellow fields wane to get any honey extracted before it sets in the comb. May be a good time to get super foundation drawn out by the bees.

April 2020

The active season is about to begin and what strange times! Inspections should begin if the weather/temperature permits. The immediate points to look for is that the colony is queen right, healthy, building, with stores and space. Supers and nucs should be at the ready as a flow could soon begin and once drones start to appear then watch for swarm preparations. Mouse guards can be removed. Once stores can be seen then winter feed too can be removed. Bees are livestock and should be tended properly (as things stand) to ensure their health and survival.

March 2020.

The active season is upon us (if it would just stop raining!). As the month progresses and hopefully warms up watch the hive entrance for activity; notably pollen being brought in. If the weather permits then a quick check on stores, brood and space can ascertain that all is well, though this is not paramount if the weather is still unkind. Have supers ready and nucs in waiting ready for the active season to begin. Ensure fondant is still available until plentiful nectar is seen stored in comb. Towards the end of the month mouse guards can be removed along with any woodpecker protection hopefully!