Welcome beekeeping.neocities.org!

I am a new [as of 2023] beekeeper in Eastern Ontario near Algonquin Park. One of the things I had trouble finding was a sort of quick-reference guide for some beekeeping related topics, so I made one here. Lots of beekeeping information is region-specific, so what you see here may not apply to your region. If you would like me to add something, or think I should change something here, please send an email to snorkasaurus to hotmail dot com. Please note that Microsoft owns hotmail.com and their spam filtering is just plain awful, so putting "beekeeping" in the subject line of your message is likely to help me see it in the sea of spam. Alternatively, if you find the information here useful I'd love to hear about that too.

Monthly Focus

These are the main things I should be focused on by month. This is very region dependent

Month Focus
January Stay out of the hives, it is -30°C out there. Consider doing some bee related research instead.
February Stay out of the hives, it is -30°C out there. Maybe start looking at any beekeeping supplies you need for the spring. This is the time to order your bees if you are buying any.
March Maybe check on the bees if you get a kickass hot day, but if it isn't at least 10°C out there don't open them. If you do open hives, make it quick. If you happen to see a hive running low on resources maybe feed them.
April If it is warm enough, maybe do your spring mite treatment now. Feed any colonies that are low on resources, especially if nothing is blooming yet.
May If you didn't treat for mites in April, get at it. When the plants start to bloom put on the honey supers and a queen excluder if you choose to. By the end of this month any bees you bought should be installed in their new homes. This is a good time to do a spring mite check. Treat if needed.
June Regular inspections and do a mite check at the end of June or early July. Treat if needed.
July Continue regular inspections and if you didn't do a mite check at the end of June, get to it now. Treat if needed.
August Summer is winding down, hopefully there will be some late seaon flow like goldenrod and asters. Continue regular inspections.
September Another mite count at the beginning of the month should give you an idea what kind of mite loads you are going to have to deal with going in to winter. If you haven't thought about starting your winter preparations yet, get to it.
October Don't hassle them too much, they're preparing for winter too. Just make sure they have what they need to make it through the winter.
November This is gonna be your last chance to do any treatments before it gets too cold to open the hives anymore. If you are using oxalic acid then you may be able to treat without opening the hive.
December It is too cold to open the hives now, unless there is some significant problem, leave them alone.

Varroa Treatments

Here are the treatments I was able to find information about. It is supposed to be a good idea to alternate between treatment types so that the mites to not build a resistence to any particular one.

Treatment When Notes
Apistan Spring & Fall Potential resistence, wax contamination, not during honey flow
Apivar & Apitraz Spring & Fall Potential resistence? Not during honey flow
Formic Acid Spring & Fall Not during honey flow
Formic Pro Any 30 days between applications, remove 2 weeks before harvest
MAQS Any Remove 2 weeks before harvest
Bayvarol Spring & Fall Not during honey flow
Thymavar Spring & Fall Not during honey flow
Oxalic Acid Trickle See Notes Spring/Packages, Summer/swarms, Fall/Any - Not during honey flow
Oxalic Acid Vapour Early spring/Late fall Not during honey flow
Checkmite Spring & Fall Not during honey flow, resistence problems
Hopguard/II/III Between 10°C & 25°C Newer versions less temperature sensitive?
Drone Comb When queen is laying MUST be stripped before drones emerge!

Photo of a couple of queen cups and a queen cell from a colony that I hope will requeen themselves.