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Managing Beehives

Beekeeper inspecting a hive frame for colony management.Honey bees have survived just fine without any help from humans for millions of years. Why is beehive management such a big part of beekeeping today?

Well, the world is constantly changing. It is common for us to keep several hives in one location. This is different than you normally see in nature.

Beekeepers may need to feed their bees sugar water. This is especially true for new colonies or any hive in times of limited nectar resources.

Keeping a beehive healthy is important. Sick colonies are not productive. Whether you hope to harvest honey or reap the benefits of bee pollination, colony health matters.

Beekeepers must also protect their colonies from various hive pests and predators. Through good hive management, infestations of varroa mites or Small Hive Beetles can be controlled.

If you live in an area with a bear population it is wise to invest in an electric bear fence in the beginning.

Through good beekeeping practices, you can protect your colonies from threats such as mosquito spraying.

Beekeeping duties progress through each year in a similar pattern. Keeping a beehive in Spring involves promoting colony buildup with sugar syrup or protein-rich pollen patties. This is also the season to watch for swarms.

The harvest season occurs during the warmest months of the year. The timing of a beekeeper’s honey harvest depends on your climate.

Moving into Fall, a beekeeper’s goal is to get colonies ready for Winter. Pest control, winterizing hives against cold and Fall feeding (if needed) begins in earnest.

Winter beekeeping is mostly a time of rest. If proper steps were taken earlier in the year, not much is required in the apiary during Winter.