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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about honey bee anatomy. Honey Bees play an
important role in pollination. Give the quiz a try!
Ever wondered where bees go in the winter? Take a look at the winter survival strategies
of native bumblebees, and native solitary bees.
This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly
attractive to native bees and honey bees.