BEEKEEPER'S CALENDAR - May
MAY AND THE BEES:
Bees are in full operation now that it is May. You can stop feeding weak hives now because they are bringing in lots of nectar and pollen. The hive is expanding rapidly. The brood chambers are filling up fast and the bees will be working hard filling supers. If insufficient space has been provided, the brood chambers are becoming crowded and congested, and probably preparing to swarm.
MAY AND THE BEEKEEPER: RED ALERT!! BEES SWARM IN MAY
You will have to implement a swarm management strategy. Keep in mind that bees swarm as a way of multiplying. It is not a sign of being a poor beekeeper. However, there are some important steps to implement to try to prevent swarming. Keep in mind that you must provide room for your hive to expand. And, you should put on honey supers no later than early April. Put on as many supers of drawn comb as you'd like. Some experts think it is good practice to have a minimum of two drawn honey supers on all hives during the nectar season. Three or four supers are even better. Don't wait to add your supers or you may miss particular nectar flows. Get all supers on by April 1st!
Consider having extra, empty hives on hand so you'll be able to capture a swarm. You will want to capture your own swarms or you will probably receive phone calls once your neighbors learn you are a beekeeper. It is not uncommon to receive calls each week all spring and summer.