Log in

The Beekeeping Year - May 

This month sees the start of foraging in earnest and also the start of swarming.

  • Check the colony to ensure the Queen is laying and that Drones are present -  
There is no need to find the Queen, just check for the presence of patches of eggs. There should now be drones in the hive. Bees work best when they have some drones.  
  • Check that the Queen has plenty of space to lay - 

At the start of the month insert three (3) new frames in the brood box for the bees to draw out. If there is little sign of a nectar flow, give a single feed of syrup to help the bees draw out the frames. Stimulative feeding is done to encourage the Queen to lay more eggs. This is mainly done to bring the colony up to a large foraging force but feeding syrup in large quantities to stimulate laying is not recommended.  

In Scotland we can get low tempratures late into the Spring and when brood starts to exceed the number of bees to look after them there is unnecessary stress on the colony.


  • Watch out for Swarming, Inspect the hive weekly -

    Add a queen excluder and the first honey super on top of the brood box. As the season progresses inspect the hive weekly to see that there is enough super room and for swarming preparations. Check for Queen cells. When Queen cells are built they are usually to be found along the lower edge of the combs in the brood chamber

    My BeekeepingYear Ian Craig 

    Recommended Annual Programme for the NBA Apiary


    Take a look at your virtual hive record Here

    Top Tip - Start using the Discussion Forum in your virtual hive record page to discuss colony management with your mentor and the apiary management team. Ensure that you are subscribed to the discussion forum to ensure that you receive an e-mail notification when a post to the forum has been made. You are subscribed to the forum if you see the following at the top left of the discussion forum to the right of 'CREATE TOPIC':

    Visit us on Facebook & Twitter

    click on the folder to read our Privacy Policy

    Contact the Association:
    Call: M : +44 (0) 7470023153

    or Write to us at:

    Find us at:
    Newbattle Abbey College, Dalkeith, EH22 3LL

             The Association is a Scottish Charitable Organisation (SCO)

    Newbattle Beekeepers Association is affiliated to the Scottish Beekeepers' Association (SBA)

    Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software