The Beekeeping Year
Most beekeepers think of the year as starting around end of August when the honey crop has been removed and preparations for winter are beginning. After treatments to control the varroa have finished the hives are fed heavy syrup to create enough stores for the colony to get through winter. The hives are protected from mice and woodpeckers and insulated against the cold.
In the Spring the colony builds up as the days lengthen and the queen increases her laying rate ready for the main nectar flow in July. If the hive gets too congested the bees will prepare to swarm and it will be necessary to perform an artificial swarm.
In early Spring on warm days the bees can be seen out on the crocuses and snowdrops foraging for pollen and nectar
Supers are added until the flow is over, cleared and the honey extracted and put into jars.
The wet supers are returned to the bees for cleaning, freezing and then stored in sealed bags over winter in the shed.
Then it's time to start the winter preparations.