What is happening in the beehive in December?
Summer Solstice December 21 is nearly here. With days of extended daylight, your Queen’s egg production is at a peak. She is maintaining a large brood nest with a growing number of worker bees.
Swarms - Decreasing
The likelihood of swarms starts to decrease as the bees slow in raising queen cells in preparation for swarming. Inspect hives in 3-week intervals for health issues.
Plan Ahead to Requeen Over Summer.
Plan to requeen if necessary. As a general guide, commercial beekeepers requeen annually, and recreational beekeepers requeen every two years.
You can collect your honey surplus if available. Only if required, provide bees with space to build new wax combs and collect nectar (add extra super).
Raise a Nuc.
Summer is a good time to do a split to raise a nucleus colony. It is your backup resource for your beekeeping and is highly recommended. When conditions are favourable, raise a nucleus colony.
It might seem strange to talk about feeding bees. This year we have had a wet and cool Spring which has reduced the foraging time for bees.
This means the bees remain in the hive and consume honey and pollen stores. So many beekeepers are finding that there is little honey in their beehives and the bees are hungry. The old saying is true, “Hungry bees are angry bees”.
Sugar Syrup and Pollen Patties.
Supplementary feeding of bees is part of beekeeping. It can get your bees over a dearth or be used to develop your bees.
The NSW Dept of Primary Industry has a great fact sheet about sugar syrup feeding of bees. Download from the link below.
If you are looking for pollen patties (free postage), then visit our website.
All the best with your bees - Phil Marshall