April 2019 Beekeeping Notes

  • Hardin County Kentucky Beekeepers AssociationHives that have made it through the winter are most probably in good condition and the queens are laying good patterns.
  • Early in the month continue to feed the hives with 1:1 sugar syrup. Stop the use of pro patties because there is plenty of pollen available by this time and small hive beetles love the patties.
  • Recommend all feeding be done internally not externally.
  • Swarming will be a possibility through April on into May, June and July.
  • Every 7 to 10 day conduct a hive inspections so as to keep watch for rapidly expanding hives and the possibility for swarming.
  • Be sure to check for the queen, the brood pattern, the number of frames of capped brood, eggs, swarm cells and etc.
  • This is the time to consider making splits from very strong hives.
  • It is also the time to install packages of bees or Nuc’s.
  • Good time to re-queen any hives that have weak queens or queens not laying or have a poor egg patterns.
  • Need to remove all treatment for Varroa and Tracheal mites if you are going to place supers on the hives.
  • Watch for small hive beetles and take appropriate controls.
  • Add honey supers around mid-month because the nectar flow will have begun.
  • Remove all debris/observation boards from screened bottom boards by mid-month.
  • Remove all entrance reducers by mid-month. Except for newly established hives that are still in the growth phase.
  • In late April or early May after putting on honey supers, wait a week or so before adding queen excluders so as to allow the bees’ free movement toward making honey in the supers. If you want to add queen excluders, make sure that the queen is not up in the supers. You can consider reversing hive bodies at this time that may help to avoid the queen moving up into the supers, BUT you need to make sure that the top box has some brood and empty frames for the queen to move up into to avoid it getting honey bound.
  • Consider making up Nuc's from existing strong hives by taking a couple of frames of brood if there is a lot of brood frames available in the hive and the queen is doing really good. Can allow hives to make new queens or purchase new queens for the Nuc’s. This all depends on your objectives to produce honey or to increase the number of hives you have.
  • Recommend a ground cover under each hive such as 30# roofing felt/paper of similar material. Also suggest spreading salt on ground around under hive stands to control hive beetles, Varroa mites and other pest. This will help control -- it is "not a prevention

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