Notes from Arthur Hill's talk to the March meeting.
Sept. Get ready for Autumn and Winter
Check feed- Unite weak colonies – treat for varroa – mouse guards on – entrance block to minimum size entrance - last liquid feed before first week in October there on fondant until Spring.
October and November all that’s needed is a periodic check on the feed situation.
December or earlier when your honey harvest is dealt with, all supers should be made ready for the following season, brood frames with clean foundation should be on hand ready to to replace old blackened brood comb in the spring and any other spare kit cleaned up to avoid the last minute panic in the event of an early Spring, or some unforeseen event that needs new or cleaned kit.
December- January a good time to hit the varroa with the oxalic acid treatment. February is a quiet month that is assuming that the beekeeper is up to date with all the preparatory work need for the Spring. Keep checking the food throughout these months.
March. As soon as the weather permits an inspection check that the bees have enough food (syrup can now be used again). Check that the colony is queen right and has enough room to lay. Replace ALL old brood foundation during March and April
April and May. A good time to treat for varroa assuming that you didn’t use the oxalic method in the winter, Apistan strips or MAQs. A nine day inspection routine is advisable and as the brood box fills put on your excluder and a super, (always making sure that the bees have plenty of room, [Shortage of space is another situation that can trigger early swarming])
As these two months progress the swarming instinct will be strengthening in the colony and there are a multiplicity of swarm control methods available. Just use the one you find best. Also read up on the article we have on our web site on queen cells as this will tell you a lot, and never knock down all queen cells.
June – July – August we all hope that these months will burst the supers with honey, and to those who intend to go to the heather have the colonies on the moors by the third week of July.
When you return from the heather at the end of August the cycle has been nearly completed just a few drops of nectar available on the lower ground but still a smidgen of pollen into early September.
A selection of his slides are available below in the Gallery.