Beekeeping Tasks by Season

How to Take Care of Your Bees

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Beekeeping tasks can be divided by season. Checking on your bees frequently is a good idea, but can be overdone: you don't want to disrupt their hive building and daily activities too much.

Spring Tasks

Spring is definitely the time to get new bees and start a hive! Read up in late winter on beekeeping, plan your hive, buy or build it, and start going to those local beekeeping clubs.

  • Start a new hive.
  • Feed the bees if necessary.
  • Harvest honey from an established hive: when flowers are blooming, harvest any honeycomb not used over the winter.
  • Complete any needed miscellaneous tasks: take care of any health issues, and do anything else needed: requeen, add room, etc.

Summer Tasks

During the summer your bees will basically take care of themselves - you just check up on them and head off any problems before they balloon into big issues.

  • Enjoy watching the bees as they work: building comb and brooding comb, bringing nectar back to the hive, etc.
  • Make sure combs are hanging straight if you're using foundationless or top bar methods.
  • Harvest honey.

Autumn Tasks

Now it's peak honey collection time, and also time for making sure your bees are prepared for winter.

  • Harvest honey, but make sure to leave enough for the bees for food for winter.
  • Reduce the hive entrance, put on mouseguards, ensure adequate ventilation. Complete any treatments for diseases and pests.
  • Fall Beekeeping Tasks

Winter Tasks

Before winter, you'll help your bee colony get settled and snug for the long cold spell ahead.

  • Cover the hive with a jacket - you can use a heavy-duty plastic bag lined with a strip of R19 insulation. Staple along the bottom of the hive. Or use black tar paper.
  • Make sure all treatments are complete.