May 2019 Beekeeping Notes

Hardin County Kentucky Beekeepers Association

  • Currently the hives are growing in population and many have reached the stage for swarming. The swarming is activated in most cases by the lack of space in the hive for the bees to bring in nectar and pollen and/or the lack of space for the queen to continue laying eggs.
  • The bees are actively bring in nectar and pollen because the nectar flow has started. Honey supers should be added on a regular basis
  • Some hives may go queen less due to the age or health of the queen or due to swarming.
  • Re-queening of hives is normal this time of year.
  • If you haven’t added supers, you need to on all well-developed hives! Basically, when adding supers it is recommended to start off with 2 supers and add additional ones well in advance of those first 2 being completely filled. Continue to add supers one at a time until you harvest honey. It is not uncommon for there to be 4 supers on a good productive hive by the time you harvest honey in late June or early July.
  • Very productive queens will venture up into the supers and start laying. To prevent this from happing, you can use a queen excluder or gain the knowledge of brood frame management within the supers. This is not a simple function and requires a degree of due diligence on a regular basis.
  • Hive beetles are on the increase so try to control them. There are various options available.
  • Be sure to sample and test for Varroa Mites and treat as may be appropriate. Reference the Honey Bee Health Coalition website for more information.

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