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 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.
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.
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
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.