Thanks to our friends at Hivetool.com for the following which is specific to TN
Beekeeping Calendar of Management Practices : May - All tasks for month
- It is time to add another super when the super on a colony is one-half to two-thirds filled (six to seven frames).
- Raise the partially filled super and place the empty super on top of the brood chamber. Place the partially filled super on top of the empty super.
- Supers of cut comb honey foundation should be added on top of the honey super which is on top of the brood chamber to reduce the amount of pollen in the cut comb honey.
- Continue to check for swarm cells every seven days. Remove all swarm cells from the colony.
- Keep empty storage space in the supers on all colonies until the honey flow has ended.
- Remove and extract capped supers from your colonies if you need additional supers.
Wonder How To?
Supering a Colony
- Prepare supers with clean frames and walls and foundation in the frames. These supers will be needed in April, May and June when the colony produces surplus honey.
- The black locust trees, clover and yellow poplar trees will begin to bloom in late April. The bees will need storage room for the surplus nectar about one week after the plants begin to bloom.
- Open the colony for inspection and add one or two supers as you close the colony.
- A super that has been used for winter feed will frequently have brood reared in the combs turning them dark. This super can be used by the bees to store another super of honey to feed back to the colony next winter. This super will be on top of the brood chamber and the bees will begin to fill it first. When this super is one-half to three-fourths full of nectar, remove it from the colony. Place one or two supers on top
of the brood chamber and place the partially filled feed back super on top of these supers. Close thecolony.
- Adding supers one or two at a time will give the bees the space needed to store surplus nectar to be cured into honey. Keep at least one super ahead of the bees during a good nectar flow.
Hiving a Swarm
- Prepare a swarm kit before the swarming season begins. A complete 1½ story hive will hold a large swarm. You will need a bottom board, a hive body complete with 10 frames of comb or foundation, a super with 10 frames of comb or foundation, an inner cover, an outer cover and a boardman entrance feeder or a top feeder. A sheet or a piece of plywood ground cover and a pruning tool or saw will complete your basic swarming kit. Staple the hive parts together with hive staples for moving after the swarm enters the hive.
- A swarm clustered on a low hanging branch near the ground is usually easy to hive. Place a sheet of cloth, paper or plywood on the ground under the swarm. Place the hive on the ground cover with the entrance toward the swarm. Shake the swarm off the limb onto the ground cover in front of the hive.
- The bees will begin to move into the hive. Within a few minutes, after the queen enters the hive, worker bees will begin to expose their glands and fan to mark the hive. The release of the pheromone marks the new home of the colony. Bees from the swarm flying in the area will be attracted to the new home by the pheromones released by the fanning workers.
- Move the hived swarm to the location you have prepared. Begin feeding the bees a mixture of two to one sugar syrup within two to three days after the swarm is hived.