Spartanburg Beekeepers Association
We meet the second Thursday of the month.
We meet at the Spartanburg County Administration Building,
conference room #6, 366 North Church Street Spartanburg, SC 29303
(enter in the back of building on the left side).
Come early at 6:30 PM for meet and greet and light refreshments,
and at 7:00 PM for meeting and door prizes.
This calendar was written for use in western North Carolina and the mountains/foothills of South Carolina. It is based on calendar written by Mr. Paul Brown who was a "Beekeeper of the Year" for both North and South Carolina and an avid honey producer. His production goal was to average 200 pounds of honey per hive. The original calendar was published in 1998. I have added some general comments for beginning beekeepers.
Since the calendar was published in 1998 many new treatments have been introduced into the market. Your treatment materials may be different from those listed below. The goal of this calendar is to provide a timeline for treatment and other activates in the apiary.
The description of all medications and treatments are general.
Applications of all medications and treatment must be done as described
on the label of the package you purchase.
The Bees – The colony’s growth is diminishing. On hot and humid days and nights, you may see a huge curtain of bees cooling themselves on the exterior of the hive.
August 20th through September 20th
Re-queen all hives with good quality queen
Take out Apistan® strips which were put in about July 1 – strips should remaining hives for approximately 56 days, but no more.
The Bees –
The colony’s growth is still diminishing. Drones are still around, but
outside activity begins to slow down as the nectar flow slows.
September (after honey supers are removed)
September and October
Combine weak hives. Use newspaper method – make two or three slits in the
paper and be sure to remove the weaker of the two queens.
The Bees – The drones may begin to disappear this month. The hive population is dropping. The queen’s egg laying is dramatically reduced.
October 15th (after the first frost)
The Bees – Not much activity from the bees. They are hunkering down for the winter. Many days you will see bees flying gathering nectar from fall blooming flowers.
November and December
The Bees –
Even less activity this month. The cold weather will send them into a
cluster. On warm day (about 45-50 degrees) workers will take the
opportunity to make cleansing flights and many also work fall blooming
flowers like asters if not kill be a hard freeze.
December to February
The Bees – The queen is surrounded by thousands of her workers. She is in the midst of their winter cluster. There is little activity except on a warm day (about 45-50 degrees) when the workers will take the opportunity to make cleansing flights. There are no drones in the hive, but some worker brood will begin to appear in the hive. The bees will consume about 25 pounds.
January 15th to February 1st
The Bees – This is the month when colonies can die of starvation. However, if you left sufficient winter stores or fed them plenty of sugar syrup in the autumn this should not happen. With the days growing longer, the queen steadily increases her rate of egg laying. More brood means more food consumed. The drones begin to appear. The bees will continue to consume honey stores.
February 1st until sufficient nectar is available
The Bees –
The weather begins to improve, and the early blossoms begin to appear.
The bees begin to bring pollen into the hive. The queen is busily laying
eggs, and the population is growing fast. The drones will begin to
March 1-15th (Temperature above 60 degrees)
The Bees – Now the activity really starts hopping. The nectar and pollen should begin to come into the hive thick and fast. The queen will be reaching her greatest rate of egg laying. The hive should be bursting with activity.
The Bees – Unswarmed colonies will be boiling with bees. The queen’s rate of egg laying may drop a bit as you move into June. The main honey flow should happen this month.
The Bees – If the weather is good, some nectar may continue this month. On hot and humid nights, you may see a huge curtain of bees cooling themselves on the exterior of the hive.
Good luck and have a great year!