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May Beekeeping Tips

The Nectar flow is on!!!! The bees are bringing in as much nectar and pollen as possible, building up their brood nest, and beekeepers should be beesy!! I know I know, it's a bad bee pun. 😉 But we all can't seem to resist making them!!!!

May is a busy month for the beekeeper as the bees will be growing quickly and need more room.

Now is a good time to add comb honey supers on

  1. If you are trying to maximize your honey production, you will want to disturb the brood nest as little as possible in. However, don’t neglect your bees!! Check the brood nest at least once during May.

2. Continue to feed small splits if they will take syrup. It will help them grow much more quickly and prepare them for winter.

3. Do not add a queen excluder on hives that have foundation. Bees do not like to draw wax through a queen excluder. Feeding your hive will help them produce the wax more quickly. Once the super has 3-4 frames of wax you can put the queen excluder on and stop feeding.

Honey ready to harvest

4. Don't feed your hive if it has a box of comb to store its honey in. Bees will store the sugar syrup up in the honey super and create sugar honey.

5. Add another super when the first one is 70-80% full. This will maximize the hives honey production. If bees sense they are running out of room they will cut back on their forging activity.

6. When you add another super it helps to add it underneath the previous honey super. This forces the bees to work in the new box more quickly.

7. Once the frames in the honey super are 80% capped they can be harvested. If you harvest when the frames are uncapped the honey could ferment.

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