Below is a rough guide to things beekeepers in New Zealand might want to think about or do for each month of the year.
* Please note, the beekeeping season typically begins in August/September in New Zealand. As this list is in chronological order, it might make more sense if you begin reading from August. This is when most beekeepers will begin preparing hives for the honey flow.
January Super up Extract honeyFebruary Harvest remaining honey supers/frames Treat for Varroa (rotate your treatment types) Carry out AFB disease check and varroa mite count Extract honey Late summer queen rearing Check for waspsMarch Extract honey Check for wasp damage Prepare honey for storage or for sale Remove varroa treatment (according to packet instructions) and re-count varroa miteApril Remove varroa treatment (according to packet instructions) Apply additional varroa treatment if required Prepare hives for wintering
- Feeding check
- Disease checks
- Scrape and clean hive components
- Check hives for signs of rot
- Control weed growth around hive
- Mouse baits/traps applied where needed
May Remove any varroa treatment applied in March Feed sugar syrup as required Winter down hives Freeze frames for wax moth controlJune Render down wax from honey extraction Make up new equipment for coming season July Remove any varroa treatment applied in May Make up new equipment for coming season *August Prepare new seasons work Assemble frames for the new season Check grass and maintain surrounds of apiary Organise queen rearing equipment September Apply varroa treatment (rotate your treatment types) Check for AFB Feed as required or supplement with Agrisea nutrient booster Stimulate drone brood for queen rearing Unite weak or queenless hives with stronger queenright hivesOctober Apply varroa treatment if you have not already Remove entrance guards Check pollen stores and feed pollen supplement if required Feed if necessary Control or capture swarms if you are able November Remove varroa treatments applied in September Conduct a mite check and assess requirements for coming season Feed sugar and/or pollen substitutes Swarm control Super-up Prepare for honey harvestDecember Introduce nucleus hives Super up Prepare for honey harvest Harvest comb honey (if in date restricted region) Harvest and extract any early honey crops