In June, your hive is filling up. Monitor your bees health and home as the honey begins to flow.
The bee colonies who didn't swarm in April or May will be busting at the seams. Peak colony population occurs this month, and hopefully, it coincides with the season’s major honey flow. Depending on the season, it usually begins in June and continues into July. Queen egg laying will be at its peak, but may begin to drop this month. Either way, the hive will be bursting with activity.
New hives should be in double deeps, getting real close to 80 pounds per hive. Bearding may appear a little on hot days and some bees may even spend the night outside, clinging to the front of the hive if it’s very warm.
Watch the honey flow and ensure your bees have plenty of room to grow and store honey. Swarming is still a possibility. Add honey supers, as needed, to prevent swarming and to provide space. When adding supers, don’t add too many, too soon or they may not completely fill them up (remember to reverse honey supers when adding new ones). This is also the time to make sure you have enough honey supers and frames to last through the summer. You don't want to miss out on all of the honey in the coming weeks.
When all of the hive frames are 80% capped, begin to add hive body. Once the hive weighs 80 pounds and all frames are 90% filled, stop feeding.
Collect honey in clean comb (Comb that has not been in the brood chamber, or contaminated in any other ways by mice, wax moth, etc.). Harvest the first crop as soon as it’s capped so you have an early varietal, or at least a springtime artisan honey to share or sell.
Early honeys are light and mild, while later honeys are darker and generally stronger. Give each a name when you label them so you know you can find the same one again.
Check the hive every 10 days to determine brood pattern, the presence of the queen and to make certain the hive is healthy. Re-queen (if needed) and monitor for varroa mites so they don't get ahead of you.
Keep the hive cool
Provide adequate ventilation and keep the hives cool. If you can, supply shade during the hottest part of the day. Stagger the supers slightly to increase air flow and/or provide a screened inner cover (transport cover) in place of a standard inner cover. You can also space the inner cover up off the top super a little (not too much or they may make a burr comb). Bore 3/4" holes into some honey supers. They can be plugged when not used for ventilation and additional entrances during honey flow.
Ensure fresh water is available and near your hives at all times. This'll help maintain good neighbors, as your bees will not be gathering water from their leaking faucet. You'll also want to keep the weeds down around your hives.
June Beekeeping Checklist
Estimated time needed: 4–5 hours*
*Time estimates do not include equipment repair and cleaning or honey extraction.
Feed 1 gallon of Fat Bee Liquid Feed every 10 days
Feed 1-2 lbs of Fat Bee Pollen Supplement every 10 days
Check Queen for brood pattern
Check bee hive for health
Provide a fresh water supply (daily)
Add honey supers
Attend your local bee club meeting
Flowers Bees Love in Late Spring & Early Summer
Bloom times vary depending on the variety, seasonal weather and elevation.
- Moss Rose (Portulaca)
- Beardtongue (Penstemon)
- Blazing Star
- Bleeding Hearts
- Culver’s Root
- Evening Primrose
- False Indigo & Wild Indigo
- False Sunflower
- Giant Hyssop
- Goat’s Beard
- Great Blue Lobelia
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Joe-Pye Weed & Boneset
- Mountain Mint
- Poppy (California Orange)
- Poppy (Shirley & Mix Colors)
- Prairie Clover
- Prairie Smoke
- Prickly Pear
- Rattlesnake Master
- Waterleaf (Flower & Borage Herb)
- Wild Bergamot
- Wild Geranium
- Wild Onion & Wild Garlic (Flower & Edible Root)
- Wild Sage
- Butterfly Bush
- Russian Sage
Other Beekeeping Considerations
Weather is the ultimate calendar when taking care of bees. Depending on the weather and your bee type, the time frame for activities should be adjusted earlier or later as necessary. You will have more success adapting to the bee’s schedule, rather than them adapting to yours.
Beekeepers are many and varied; some choose a hands off approach, while some are very hands on. Some choose to medicate and others are using other Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods which do not include medication. Whatever your preference, you can and should adapt this calendar to fit your needs.
Thank you for keeping bees, and let us know if you have any questions regarding your hive. We’re always happy to help.
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