December 2015 - Maintenance and Planning Ahead

Greetings from your WCBA president. My intent is to give pertinent beekeeping tips to you each month so that you will be able to plan the work that needs to be accomplished to keep your bees healthy, strong and productive. These tips are based on the timeline and the way I keep bees.

It’s DECEMBER, I have recovered from our turkey feast, stayed at home on black Friday and I did not spend any money on the internet on Monday, what a bore. The snow is on the ground and the bees for the most part are quiet. While some of us are still trying to complete end of year mite treatments, our work outside in the bee yard should be complete. Now is the time to gather broken frames, hives and supers in the workshop and make repairs and paint what needs a coat of paint and make plans for next year. Do you dream of adding 5 or even 10 more hives?

Now is also the time to decide and plan, what you are going to do next year in the bee yard. Should I add more hives? Will I split the hives I have? Will I try to capture a swarm or maybe even two? Will I add another bee yard? And if so will I have enough hives for another bee yard? These are all questions that a beekeeper needs the think about this time of year, before spring comes around. Some of our beekeepers are planning to expand in the spring. If you are one of those beekeepers you should get the woodenware on order so that it can be delivered, assembled and painted, ready for spring. You should determine the number of packages, nucs and queens that you will need in April, because orders should l be placed next month. Plan a head, spring will be here before you know it!

Do you want to Learn more about beekeeping? Then attend our club meetings where beekeepers (seasoned and unseasoned) share their knowledge and experiences. Come and join us, we would love to meet with you and share our knowledge.

I hope each of you will have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!

Howard “Howdy” Martsolf

WCBA President