This calendar is designed to be a guideline to assist you in your beekeeping endeavors. Also consider this, quality matters when it comes to food for your bees. Honey and Pollen provide essential protein and carbohydrates that they would not get from sugar water or corn syrup. So be careful about how much honey you take! It is our hope that through combined efforts we can raise healthy, resilient colonies and be successful in our beekeeping experiences!
January is time to consider feeding pollen patties to your bees. This will stimulate brood laying so that you can maximize your workers for the spring nectar flow. February/March is the primary months for starving bees.
During July/August, your splitting should be done. This is also your opportunity to check how good your queens are laying and decide whether or not you need to purchase a new young laying queen to build your workers up and get those much needed honey stores. You will need an estimated 60 lbs. of honey in your supers (not counting your brood box) to winter your bees.
September/October you may begin to notice an awful smell coming from your hives. Once you have ruled out "Foul Brood" chances are Aster has bloomed and that is what you are experiencing. Don't worry come November the smell should subside. Again check your pollen supply. More of different colored pollen's equal a more rounded diet. Different colored pollens provide different nutrients. Good pollen sources that provide the most nutrients that bees need are Dandelion, Mustard, Turnips Greens, Apple, and Blackberry. Remember, bees need protein to survive winter which they get from pollen.
If it is warm enough December and/or January you will want to check out the honey/pollen supply the bees have to work with. In mid-January you should have some brood. Even some capped brood in stronger hives. Remember, January yields the least amount of pollen out of all 12 months in North Carolina so pollen substitute may be necessary. As the bees bring in more pollen, the queen will lay more eggs and this in turn means more workers you will have for the first blooms of the season (Maple). February is primetime to add equipment. Add your foundation and a 1 to 1 mix of sugar and water and the girls will get busy drawing out comb.