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June Beekeeping

In June, beekeeping begins to be a little more relaxed.  Swarm season is coming to an end, and the honey flow should be on in earnest in most areas.  The flow is, of course, weather dependent.

First-year colonies:
Continue to monitor your first-year colonies by conducting weekly to biweekly inspections. They are most likely in their second deep by now, and brood should be plentiful.

We add our second deep box on top of the first when two conditions are met.   First, we want about 80-90% of the comb in the first box to be drawn out.  In a 10-frame box, we want them to be at least started on the inside portion of the outermost frames. Second, the population should be growing and substantial.  Bees should be covering 80% of the frames.  You can tell this generally by looking down on the frames when you open the box.

Many people are asking us about feeding at this time of year.  Our stance on feeding new colonies is: We feed until there is no comb left to draw.  Automatically.

Second year or later colonies:
Most likely you have honey supers on.  Make sure that you add supers early and often. We add them when comb is drawn on the previous super, and the frames are almost full and starting to be capped. If we are adding a super with just foundation, not drawn comb, we put it underneath the other supers that may be on the hive.

Your bees are near their maximum amount of brood for the year and if you have not had good mite control through the year to this point, your mite levels may be approaching danger levels.  Sometime in early June we do our midseason mite checks. We prefer the sugar roll method of mite counts.