Beekeeper’s Calendar – June

Monthly Beekeeping Guide

June & the bees:

Your bees will hopefully be hard at work by now, filling supers. Bear in mind though, colonies may still swarm during June, so be diligent about checking hives regularly for swarming behavior. Hopefully, there should be no need to continue feeding your established hive, as they should be gathering plenty of nectar and pollen from nature. Do not continue supplemental feeding with honey supers on; if necessary, do not harvest from those supers. On hot and humid evenings, you may see bees hanging out on the front of the hive. This is normal. They may even spend the night outside the hive, clinging to the front of the hive, or forming a “beard” on the ground in front of the hive. This phenomenon, called “bearding,” is basically your bees enjoying the cool night breeze, like you would on your porch on a hot evening.

June & the beekeeper:

You will need to continue monitoring your colonies, checking for available laying space, and adding supers as needed. It’s recommended to check your hives AT LEAST every two weeks to ensure that the queen is present and laying well. With warmer temps especially, the bees will need water, so be sure to keep a water source near your hives.

Most beekeepers will begin to consider mite counts within their hives during June; some may even begin to treat for them. However, no treatments of any kind can be administered while honey supers are on. This could contaminate the honey with chemical residue. Preferably, you would not treat hives with harsh chemicals; instead, powdered sugar or essential oils can be utilized with integrated pest management methods and protocols. Wait until the last summer nectar flow is over before treating with powdered sugar or essential oils, or even any chemicals. For the Tri-state area, the summer nectar flow usually ends about the first week of August.

%d bloggers like this: