Updated: Feb 12
Honeybees are truly amazing. They can fly miles for food, defend themselves against attack, and survive the harshest winters. But despite being so tough, there are some basic things bees need to survive, and plenty of problems that can befall them. Click Here to view a month by month timeline of beekeeping management.
Although Honey Bees need specific treatment at different times of the year. There are several different factors that will help a hive stay healthy and strong.
Location The ideal location for a hive will be in a sunny, dry location with partial afternoon shade and a northern wind buffer. Low damp location encourages pests and helps bacteria grow.
Food stores Try to keep at least 2 frames of honey in the brood box. Honey in the brood box adds an insulation factor and is close to the nurse bees who need it to fed the brood.
Pest management Varroa is the largest problem in todays beekeeping. Monitor mite levels every few months. The best times to treat for mites is in early spring and fall as there is not as much brood. Treating in the fall and spring will also help your hive stay healthy through the winter and into the honey flow. Comb slowly absorbs toxins and bacteria. Removing a few old dark combs every year or two will also help prevent a build up of toxins and bacteria in your hive.
Queens Requeening a hive every year or two will help your hive stay strong. It is very stressful for a hive to try and raise their own queen. Keeping a strong queen in a hive will also help the hive fight pests and overwinter successfully.
Water source Bees need water. A bird bath, dripping faucet, or pond is a perfect water source.
Hive Size Maintain large healthy hives is one of the best ways to successfully overwinter and keep pests like hive beetles and wax moths at bay. Don't overwork, over split, and take all the honey from your hive. Stressed hives tend to slowly wind downwards.