June 2023 Newsletter

Hello beekeepers! Mara daoibh a bheachairí!  

June has arrived with a buzz, and what a great start to the summer it has been! The recent heat wave has brought us fantastic weather, and our busy little bees are certainly making the most of it. We hope you're also taking advantage of the good weather and getting lots done in your apiaries. 

Firstly, we wanted to extend a huge thank you to all who have placed orders with us in the past few weeks. We truly appreciate your support and want to assure you that our hardworking team is doing everything possible to get your supplies out to you as quickly as we can!  

We hope you had a successful "No Mow May" and created beautiful spaces for the bees and other pollinators to forage. It's amazing how a small act of leaving the lawnmower idle for a while can make such a big difference for our little friends. Your efforts in providing safe havens for them are crucial for their survival and the health of our ecosystem. June is also a big month as we celebrate Pollinator Week (19-25 June). Tap into what's happening on Twitter @PollinatorPlan and Instagram @allirelandpollinatorplan.

We held a photo competition for World Bee Day, and were blown away by the incredible talent out there! The standard was so high that we were finding it difficult to pick a winner… so we opened it up to everyone to vote for their favourite. The results were tallied and the lucky winner was Alison Crockett with her picture of a Peacock butterfly! The prize is a National Polystyrene Type 3 Hive Starter Kit. Thank you to everyone who entered and well done to all our finalists.  

Credit: Alison Crockett

Some exciting news, fellow beekeepers! We're thrilled to share that we've taken a leap into the world of YouTube! We've joined the community of video tutorials to bring you even more valuable insights into the art of beekeeping. But hold on to your bee suits, because here's the best part: we want your input! Is there something specific you've been itching to learn? Whether it's hive maintenance, honey extraction techniques, or any other topic, we're all ears. Don't hesitate to reach out and share your requests. We're here to cater to your beekeeping needs and make sure our tutorials are as helpful and informative as possible. Comment below or send us a message. And check out our YouTube Channel!

And that's all for now, a bheachairí! As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or simply want to share your beekeeping stories, we're just a phone call or email away. Thank you for being a part of our buzzing community. Wishing you a sweet and successful June! Beachaireacht shona!

  • Continue as in May (see HERE
  • If you’ve successfully controlled swarming, the need for regular inspections is coming to an end. 
  • If you have a ‘June gap’ in your area, make sure that your bees have sufficient food reserves to keep them going. (See Apimix)
  • Try to make sure that a newly mated queen resulting from swarm control measures is heading your main honey-producing colony. This will greatly reduce the chance of the colony swarming a second time. (See our Queen Mating Boxes

Courtesy of the Haynes Bee Manual

Haynes Bee Manual
Colony Record Card

The month of June on the beekeeper’s calendar is a busy time for most colonies, so it’s important to continue your hive checks on a weekly basis. Identify the queen, check the overall health of the hive, and add honey supers as needed. Let those amazing little creatures do what they do best!  

If you intend to pull honey from the hives this season, June is a good time to check on the necessary tools for extracting and containers for storing your honey harvest. See our Extraction products to be used for honey extraction, our Buckets & Tanks for honey storage, and our selection of Jars & Lids for your honey selling needs. 

Many of you may have newer equipment which can make a huge difference on how fast the bees grow as they are also building the wax for their nest.  By now, if you are keeping bees in 2 deeps, you should have honey supers on.  If the frames are brand new, sometimes the bees are hesitant to draw out new wax.  TIP: spray the foundations with sugar water to get them to move up.  

Also, add supers without the queen excluder. Come back 7-10 days later and add the queen excluder. Make sure your queen is not in the supers.  Adding 2 supers at a time will help to curb swarm tendency. 

June is also a good time to check for mites. Varroa mites will peak in July-August. So it’s a good time to evaluate your mite levels and decide on your method for controlling them if it is needed. (See VarroMed, a natural medical treatment that is safe to use during spring season.) 

Continue to examine (and if possible exchange) Brood Frames for any signs of disease or swarming. Bee Disease identification cards are helpful.   The brood should be able to occupy most of the Brood Chamber this month. Swarming will continue through June so you will have to continue to be vigilant. You may be able to take off some frames of capped Honey or even complete Supers, ensure you have empty Frames or Supers to replace those taken. 

Beekeeping for Beginners is a great and easy to follow book for beginner beekeepers and covers a wide range of topics from Getting Started, Colony Management, Colony Protection and Equipment needed.

A Swarm Catching Bag is a great tool for out of reach swarms. 

Swarm Catcher Bag

TIP: Joining a local beekeeping association or club is the best way to learn about the particulars of beekeeping for your region. It’s one of the first things we suggest to anyone looking to become a beekeeper. 

Essential Equipment:

  • Protective Clothing
  • Smoker
  • Hive Tools
  • Record Book. 
  • New Brood Frames and Foundation
  • Spare Supers with Frames and Foundation
  • Bee Escapes for clearing Supers
  • Bee Brush

Our Basic Kit includes a beesuit, gloves, smoker, hive tool and a bee brush. €115 

A common question we get is how do you remove bees from the super when its time to replace it. The best and most efficient way to clear bees is to remove the super from the hive, insert a Clearer Board on top of the brood chamber, then place the super back onto the hive. Return a few hours later and the super should be cleared of bees, as whilst the bees can leave through the Clearer Board, they cannot get back in. See our collection of Clearer Boards and Escapes HERE.

Lastly, thank you for keeping bees! Let us know if you have any questions regarding your hive, we’re always happy to help. 

1 comment

  • Can I make splits with queen cells rather than splitting with the old queen I was told that you always make splits by moving the queen to make the split

    Brendan Carroll

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