Charlie's monthly beekeeping calendar

Your monthly guide of beekeeping tips for you and your hives

June 24, 2024

To all SBA Members,

The 2024 honey season is not looking promising for me due to queen issues and the hive dead outs that I had this spring. Also we did have some rain while the different nectar source trees were blooming, but I still hope to get close to 500 pounds of honey. Although my honey flow is over, yours could continue until the end of June, depending on where you live and what is still blooming in your area.

When I checked the honey supers last week I found that a lot of frames have not been capped. I tested the honey moisture content with my refractometer and found it to be between18% and 19%. Hopefully, the honey will dry down to 17.5% so I can harvest it or I will have to setup my honey dehumidifier to dry down the honey supers.

I have started to setup my honey house on my back porch, covering the floor with rosin paper, putting a pallet on the floor to mount my extractor on, and bringing out the scissor lift table with my uncapping tank mounted on top of it. All that's left is to go to my apiary with a fume board, a spray bottle of Fischer's Bee-Quick, and a small battery powered leaf blower to harvest eight to ten honey supers at a time. I like to harvest only as many supers that I can get extracted in three days so there is no danger of hive beetles or wax moth infestation.

Need to start extracting honey?

If you don't have an extractor of your own, remember that you can borrow one of two extractors from the Susquehanna Beekeepers Association for free. We also have two uncapping tanks with hot knives available. Contact John Knapstein at 443-567-2824 for more information.

Not all honey bee clubs offer the use of equipment for free to their members.
What are you going to do for June?

1. Make sure the queen has plenty of frames to lay eggs in the brood nest.
2. If your hive is pollen-bound, remove some (but not all) of the pollen frames. Keep one or two frames of pollen in the hive.
3. Keep an eye out for queen cells.
4. Monitor supers for capped honey.
5. Harvest honey supers that are 90% capped.
6. Make sure the honey moisture content is between 16% to 17.5% using a refractometer.
7. Do a Varroa mite check mid-July.
8. Plan to start treating for Varroa in mid to late July.
Here's to a big honey crop this year!
Charlie Thomas
SBA President