Beekeeping in June

 

In June, your hive is filling up. Monitor your bees health and home as the honey begins to flow.

June: Bees

Bee colonies – which did not swarm in April or May – will be busting at the seams. Peak colony population occurs this month, and hopefully, it coincides with the season’s major honey flow. Depending on the season, it usually begins in June and continues into July. Queen egg laying will be at its peak, but may begin to drop this month. Either way, the hive will be bursting with activity. New hives should be in double deeps, getting real close to 80 pounds per hive. Bearding may appear a little on hot days and some bees may even spend the night outside, clinging to the front of the hive if it’s very warm.

June: Beekeeping

Watch the honey flow and ensure your bees have plenty of room to grow and store honey. Swarming is still a possibility. Add honey supers, as needed, to prevent swarming and to provide space. When adding supers, don’t add too many, too soon or they may not completely fill them up (remember to reverse honey supers when adding new ones). This is also the time to make sure you have enough honey supers and frames to last through the summer. You don’t want to miss out on all of the honey in the coming weeks.

When all of the hive frames are 80% capped, begin to add hive body. Once the hive weighs 80 pounds and all frames are 90% filled, stop feeding.

Collect honey in clean comb (Comb that has not been in the brood chamber, or contaminated in any other ways by mice, wax moth, etc.). Harvest the first crop as soon as it’s capped so you have an early varietal, or at least a springtime artisan honey to share or sell. Early honeys are light and mild, while later honeys are darker and generally stronger. Give each a name when you label them so you know you can find the same one again.

Check the hive every 10 days to determine brood pattern, the presence of the queen and to make certain the hive is healthy. Re-queen (if needed) and monitor for varroa mites so they don’t get ahead of you.

Provide adequate ventilation and keep the hives cool. If you can, supply shade during the hottest part of the day. Stagger the supers slightly to increase air flow and/or provide a screened inner cover (transport cover) in place of a standard inner cover. You can also space the inner cover up off the top super a little (not too much or they may make a burr comb). Bore 3/4″ holes into some honey supers. They can be plugged when not used for ventilation and additional entrances during honey flow.

Ensure fresh water is available and near your hives at all times. This’ll help maintain good neighbors, as your bees will not be gathering water from their leaking faucet. You’ll also want to keep the weeds down around your hives.

Estimated time needed: 4-5 hours*

June: Checklist

Feed 1 gallon of Fat Bee Liquid Feed every 10 days
Feed 1-2 lbs of Fat Bee Pollen Supplement every 10 days
Check Queen for brood pattern
Check bee hive for health
Provide a fresh water supply (daily)
Add honey supers
Attend your local bee club meeting

 

Flowers Bees Love in Late Spring

*Bloom times vary depending on the variety, seasonal weather and elevation.

Annual Flowers
    Ageratum
    Alyssum
    Begonias
    Dahlia
    Geranium
    Impatiens
    Lobelia
    Marigold
    Moss Rose (Portulaca)
    Petunia
    Salvia
    Vinca
    Zinnia

     

    Perennial Flowers
      Alexanders
      Anemone
      Beardtongue (Penstemon)
      Bergenia
      Blanketflower
      Blazing Star
      Bleeding Hearts
      Brunnera
      Columbine
      Coneflower
      Culver’s Root
      Delphinium
      Evening Primrose
      False Indigo & Wild Indigo
      False Sunflower
      Fireweed
      Giant Hyssop
      Goat’s Beard
      Great Blue Lobelia
      Harebell
      Hepatica
      Horsemint
      Ironweed
      Jacob’s Ladder
      Joe-Pye Weed & Boneset
      Lupine
      Milkweed
      Mountain Mint
      Peony
      Phlox
      Pincushion
      Poppy (California Orange)
      Poppy (Shirley & Mix Colors)
      Prairie Clover
      Prairie Smoke
      Prickly Pear
      Rattlesnake Master
      Salvia
      Scorpionweed
      Snapdragon
      Spiderwort
      Stonecrop
      Tickseed
      Waterleaf (Flower & Borage Herb)
      Wild Bergamot
      Wild Geranium
      Wild Onion & Wild Garlic (Flower & Edible Root)
      Wild Sage
      Vervain

       

      Shrubs
        Bluebeard
        Butterfly Bush
        Potentilla
        Russian Sage
        Spirea
        Summersweet

       

      LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT MONTH?

      READ BEEKEEPING IN JULY

      General Notes

      Weather is the ultimate calendar when taking care of bees. Depending on the weather and your bee type, the time frame for activities should be adjusted earlier or later as necessary. You will have more success adapting to the bee’s schedule, rather than them adapting to yours.

      Beekeepers are many and varied; some choose a hands off approach, while some are very hands on. Some choose to medicate and others are using other Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods which do not include medication. Whatever your preference, you can and should adapt this calendar to fit your needs. Thank you for keeping bees, and let us know if you have any questions regarding your hive. We’re always happy to help.

      *Time estimates do not include equipment repair and cleaning or honey extraction.

       


      Information for this article was provided by Kent Mickelsen, Utah Certified Nurseryman, IFA Country Store; Utah State University Extension; and Slide Ridge Honey in Mendon, Utah.

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