Beekeeping Calendar of Management Practices : April
Strong colonies will consume large amounts of honey stores in April.
If all reserves have been used, the colonies will starve just prior to the
Check stores and feed all colonies that have less than 15 pounds.
Check brood chamber for diseases.
Replace three frames of drawn brood comb with three frames of new
wired brood foundation each year. Rotate the drawn brood comb frames on a
four-year cycle replacing each of the 10 frames of drawn comb with
foundation once every four years.
Install package bees in April. Package bees will do well when
installed on all new foundation in the hive. When drawn comb and two
frames of brood are available, packages get off to a better start.
Add new foundation for drawing comb in upper hive body during a honey
Slatted bottom boards and entrance reducers also reduce degree of
light and aid in producing better drawn comb.
Feed installed package bees one gallon of a two to one sugar syrup
containing one teaspoon of Fumidil-B.
Colonies with prolific queens and ample food will be strong in
population and may need room. Add a super of drawn comb to relieve
By April, you should have developed colony strength to 80,000 worker
bees to produce a maximum honey crop.
Add supers for honey storage by April 25.
Check for the development of the swarming instinct. Raise the super
just above the brood chamber and check for swarm cells along the bottom
bars of the frames. If cells are present, all frames containing brood
should be checked thoroughly for swarm cells. Remove all uncapped queen
cells. Give additional room by adding one or two supers of drawn comb.
Top ventilate the colony to prevent overheating the colony.
Recheck for swarm cells every seven days.
Colonies that continue to build swarm cells should be divided to
Colonies that develop a strong swarming impulse will swarm after the
removal of capped queen cells.
Prepare supers with foundation in a warm room and store under
fumigation with paradichlorobenzene.
Place supers with cut comb foundation in plastic bags to prevent
drying out prior to use.
Remove entrance reducer from over wintered strong colonies by
Remove entrance reducers from colonies installed in April by mid-June.