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Beekeeping In June

Excerpted from: What Should I Be Doing?

The month of June on the beekeeper’s calendar is a busy time for most colonies, so it’s important to continue your hive checks on a weekly basis. Identify the queen, check the overall health of the hive, and add honey supers as needed. Let those amazing little creatures do what they do best!

  What Are The Bees Doing?

June is all about building numbers and getting ready for the main honey flow. Wisconsin's season is short so the bees that are adapted to this climate know this and get while the getting is good!

There are 7,000 cells per frame and the queen is laying 1500-2000 eggs per day if she is a good queen. If you are not ready for this kind of growth will experience swarming.

The bees are building up their populations with full force until June 21st. This is a turning point in the hive. Your queen will start to take cues from the sun and slow down bee production. This coincides with the anticipation of the main honey flow.

Read More: How To Read Brood Frames
Read More: When To Add Hive Supers

  What Is Supercedure?

Late June is also when when you may see a lot of hives start the process of supercedure if their queen is inadequate for whatever reason. It makes sense for them to wait till there is an abundance of recourses to do this work but many beekeepers who don’t see what is happening and they go into a hive with no eggs and a few queen cells and panic.

They cut all the cells, the old queen is already gone or impossible to find and they add a new queen only to lose that new queen to the bees because they already started the process of making a new queen.

When in doubt when looking in a beehive, always wait. It takes up to 5 weeks for them to replace their queen. On the bright side, this is a nice brood break for the colony and you will go into winter with a young queen unless something bad happens to prevent them from making their own queen.

  Beekeeper Tasks

If have newer equipment it can make a huge difference on how fast the bees grow as they are also building the wax for their nest. By now, if you are keeping bees in 2 deeps, you should have honey supers on. If the frames are brand new, sometimes the bees are hesitant to draw out new wax.

Spray the foundations with sugar water to get them to move up. Also, add supers without the queen excluder. Come back 7-10 days later and add the queen excluder.

Check that your queen is not in the supers. Adding 2 supers can help to curb swarm tendency.

You should do a mite check in June and will do another one in July. Typically, June and July the mites should be low, really low.

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