Check the entrances and roofs to your hives for any blockages caused by leaves. If you have fondant on your hives, make sure there is sufficient for the bees needs. Keep checking for varroa, and treat accordingly.
Keep checking food levels, and feed if necessary. Treat varroa accordingly. Check that you have sufficient supers, frames, foundation etc. and clean your spare equipment.
Continue checking food levels. Keep tabs on varroa levels, continue to do this throughout the season. Increasing levels of mites found will need treating – do not leave it till later. The queen will be laying in increasing numbers and the brood will grow in size. On a warm day, you can open the hive for a quick check. As the colony gets stronger you might need to add supers before April. This should help prevent overcrowding.
Choose a warm day to make your first full inspection. Checking the bees’ health, their food supply, see if you can spot the queen and that she’s ok. Clean out any dead bees from the winter period and generally tidy up the hive.
Check weekly for queen cells and signs of swarming. Add supers if needed.
Check weekly for queen cells and signs of swarming. Add supers if needed. Continue checking the health of your bees and treat if required. Also check they have enough food.
Keep feeding the bees, adding supers and inspecting for swarming. Extract honey if you are lucky enough to have some. Keep checking levels of varroa and treat accordingly.
Extract honey from supers, and put supers back that have had their honey extracted for the bees to clean. Leave enough honey to feed the bees through the winter. Check the colony is queen-right. Continue treating for varroa. Fit entrance restrictor to prevent hive being robbed by wasps or other bees.
Feed for the winter if needed. Keep looking for varroa and treat. If you have two or more small clusters consider combining into one. Check there is enough stores to carry the colony through the winter, add feed if necessary. This should be done before the bees form a winter cluster – they will not move far from the cluster to get food.
Do not make any more internal inspections this year but keep feeding the colony if they do not have enough stores. Typically a hive will need about 20 kilos of honey to get the it through the winter. A larger colony may need more. Ventilate the hive with small strips of wood. Take off the queen excluder for the winter.
Check the outside of the hive regularly. During the winter make new or repair equipment ready for the next year.
Do not make any internal inspections but keep feeding the colony if they do not have enough stores. Treat for varroa.