Large apiaries work all year round. To obtain the planned volume of beekeeping products, it is necessary to regularly inspect the hives, monitor their cleanliness, and the health of insects. All procedures must be done on time, no trifles should be overlooked.
Operations for the maintenance of the beekeeping farm are repeated annually. However, remembering their sequence is not easy, so a special calendar has been developed that guides the beekeepers. The basis for its compilation was the annual cyclicality of insect life.
Calendar beekeeping events
The results of monitoring bee colonies are recorded in audit logs. Every apiary should have them. Roy and his dwelling are counted under the number assigned to the breeding female. The log records:
- the state of the family (resilience, change in size);
- important events (illness, swarming, wintering);
- events held according to the beekeeper’s calendar (from cleaning to treatment);
- the number of products received during the season.
The log records weather conditions, periods of flowering of melliferous plants.
At the end of the annual cycle, you need to analyze its results, evaluate the results of activities. Then you can proceed to filling out the next journal.
Comparison of information over several years helps to determine the most favorable conditions for the maximum productivity of bee colonies in order to further influence the increase in the production of the necessary products.
Beekeepers determine when the time has come for the implementation of activities, focusing on the list of mandatory works. The beekeeper’s calendar is compiled taking into account the monthly vital activity of insects, but its dates may be shifted depending on the climatic conditions of the region.
Bee activity throughout the year
The beekeeper must act according to the situation and carry out additional work, if necessary, but they are not indicated in the calendar.
Tips for a beginner beekeeper
The beekeeper’s task, if he wants to get more honey and extend the life of insects, is to help them in time. For a beginner beekeeper, work is greatly facilitated by the presence of a calendar, it is especially important for him to adhere to the timing of the work.
A beginner should start with 2-6 bee colonies. Taking care of so many is easy. It is not recommended to keep insects accustomed to other climatic conditions; it is better to choose local breeds.
The beekeeper needs diligence and observation to notice different nuances in the behavior of bees. Over time, gaining experience, you can understand what insect families need, develop your own methods of caring for them. However, the beekeeper’s calendar will always be his main assistant.
Work in the apiary by months
Some beekeepers believe that the year for insects begins in February, when they become more active, laying eggs. Others believe that the end of the period coincides with the end of the honey harvest (August according to the calendar), and the beginning of preparations for winter opens a new bee year.
But the way the work is distributed by months is unchanged, because its goal is to create favorable conditions for the bees to develop products.
The wintering of bees continues in accordance with the calendar. The beekeeper must observe how they endure the cold period, maintain the desired temperature, humidity, provide protection from pests, and regulate ventilation.
In addition to listening to the noise inside the hive 2-3 times a month (it is normal when it is weak), the beekeeper needs to place an insert with a film above the bottom to protect it from drops flowing down from the frames. After each thaw, the water should be removed.
By the end of January, it is required to complete the inspection and preparation of the necessary equipment.
According to the beekeeper’s calendar, wintering is in full swing. As the air temperature rises, the queens begin to lay brood, therefore, the activity of the swarm and their food consumption increase. The bees begin to take water flowing down to the bottom of the hive.
It is necessary to improve the ventilation of bee dwellings, to clean the entrances from the dead (corpses of insects), waste. The beekeeper needs to listen to the noise inside the hive weekly, inspect the entrance hole for signs of diarrhea. After the 20th, it is recommended to lay the top dressing with medicinal additives.
With the beginning of spring, beekeepers need to clean the pallets, carry out medicinal treatment. They check the remnants of feed stocks – honey and pollen, – remove honeycombs spoiled by mold. The bees are fed by adding several filled frames or sweet dough (mixture with powdered sugar). Care should be taken to ensure the availability of a drinker.
March according to the beekeeper’s calendar is the month when the first flight is made after the cold weather. Outdoor hives are cleared of snow, houses from the premises begin to be taken out into the open air. It is advisable to listen to the noise of the swarm 2-3 times a week (before flying).
After waiting for a temperature of 15-16 ° C in the light (at least 8 ° C in the shade), the upper hives are opened. Healthy bees fly out together to cleanse the intestines.
According to the calendar, the flowering of melliferous plants begins, and insects bring nectar with pollen. This first bribe gives a count of the maturation of the produced product.
The composition of bee colonies is renewed at the expense of young animals. The beekeeper is required to provide insect feeding from honey, bee bread, liquid syrup, to supply the hives with waxed frames. Another task is to ensure that the humidity level is at an acceptable level, to insulate the houses before night frosts.
In the beekeeper’s calendar for April, a spring check of swarms in the apiary is scheduled. It is necessary to determine which of them have weakened over the winter, have lost their breeding females. An incomplete swarm is combined with the one where there is a queen, or a young female from another hive is sent to them. Too weak bee colonies, crippled individuals are eliminated.
The expanding bee families need an increase in the area of housing, otherwise they will begin to swarm. Therefore, they put additional sections of hives in the spring.
Bees are actively rebuilding their honeycombs, bringing bribes, breeding offspring. They need infrequent feeding with sweet syrup, treatment for ticks.
Beekeepers divide strong colonies into 2 parts by filling in empty hives. They also improve the quality of swarms, planting healthy strong bees to weak colonies, transferring combs with clutches of eggs to them, replacing aged queens.
Breeding of bee offspring, the expansion of families continues. In order to prevent swarming according to the calendar, you need to again increase the area of the hives with additional sections, open the tap holes wide for air flow. The houses should not overheat; if necessary, it is worth creating a shadow over them.
Now is the time to pump out the honey: some of the wax combs are filled with ripe prey from honey plants. The extracted frames are replaced with empty ones. It is possible to take out the filled combs only after a sufficient supply has been collected for the wintering period.
The drug treatment is temporarily stopped so that they do not poison the honey. You can use decoctions from pine, herbs (for example, thyme).
On the beekeeper’s calendar, the hot season has come. Many melliferous plants bloom, insects are actively working, like beekeepers. During the main bribe, the largest amount of honey is produced per season.
The beekeeper should substitute empty frames as necessary, providing free space for placing the bribe brought. He continues pumping out the honey. Providing favorable conditions, you can get a lot of quality beekeeping products.
The activity in the apiary dies down by the First Savior (mid-August according to the calendar). Most of the honey plants have faded, the flow rate has decreased sharply. The swarms begin to decline due to the expulsion of the drones. The uterus in the nest reduces the number of egg clutches. In order for insects to bring out strong offspring, they need feeding with protein supplements.
The beekeeper needs to remove some of the sections from the houses, remove the unfilled frames, and clarify the amount of reserves for the winter. The surplus is taken away in order to pump out honey, the low-quality product is withdrawn. After that, drug treatment can be carried out.
Autumn is just beginning, but according to the beekeeper’s calendar, it’s time to get ready for winter. Beekeepers remove extra sections of hives, poorly filled frames, clean and disinfect them, melt wax honeycombs.
It is necessary to revise the collected honey in order to leave quality honey for the winter. If necessary, add frames with bee bread (1-2 pieces), pure honey.
Bees accumulate nutrient reserves in the body, less often they fly out of the hive. Their number is decreasing due to the death of old bees. The last young growth is hatched.
Until mid-September, you should organize the last honey dressing, then the treatment for ticks.
When the weather gets cold, insects gather inside the hive, and in warm weather they make the last flight to cleanse the intestines in accordance with the calendar. Unless in the regions of the south, their vital activity continues for some time.
It is advisable to treat the bees with a tick repellent by fumigating, thermally. You no longer need to feed.
The beekeeper is engaged in the insulation of hives, ventilation. The upper entrances are closed completely, the lower ones – partially.
Hives are often placed in winter hives in areas with low temperatures and strong winds. When the houses are transferred to the prepared room, they need protection from pests.
According to the calendar, there is a period of winter rest. In November, bees hibernate inside their dwelling, huddled together in a dense heap (club).
The beekeeper provides a comfortable flow of air, checks that the covers of the hives are tightly closed. Outdoor cabins should be covered with snow to protect them from frost.
This is the time of minimal worries: the swarm is inactive, eats little, huddled inside the nests for the winter. A month remains on the calendar until the end of the year.
The beekeeper needs to control insects every 10-15 days, listening to their noise. The main thing is that all conditions are created (comfortable temperature and humidity, sufficient air flow, protection from rodents).
Beekeepers are engaged in making frames, repairing empty hives, checking tools. If necessary, they need to insulate the hives outside.
With careful attention, taking care of bees, beekeeping will be successful, insects will store a large amount of useful products during the season. Thanks to the beekeeper’s calendar, the apiary workers manage to carry out all the important things, provide comfortable conditions for the life of the bees.