Planning Calendar for Hobbyist Beekeepers in California

Thank you to the California Master Beekeeper Program, UC Davis E.L. Niño Bee Lab, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources for permission to use the Backyard Beekeeping Timeline for California resource referenced in this calendar. Flip each icon to see seasonally recommended tasks for First Year Beekeepers and Beekeepers with Established Hives

January-February

Get started with research; take classes and talk to other beekeepers

January-February

Read and Take Classes; Talk to other Beekeepers; Order Packages or Nucs; Order and Prepare hive equipment; Determine Feeding and Mite management protocols

March

Continue research if needed; Manage needed equipment and protocols

March

Read and Take Classes; Talk to other Beekeepers; Order Packages or Nucs; Order and Prepare hive equipment; Determine Feeding and Mite management protocols

April

Install Packages and setup; Inspect queen and bees for health

April

Pick-up/Install Packages and/or Nucs; Ensure queen is present and egg-laying; Ensure bees are drawing the comb properly; Feed syrup to all packages; Add Drone comb if desired

May

Inspect and feed colonies regularly; get more comfortable with the bees

May

Feed syrup to hives with undrawn frames; Inspect colonies regularly; Become more comfortable in the hives; Ensure all stages of brood are present

June

Test colonies for mites and monitor overall hive health

June

Test mite levels in colonies Potentially treat; Unlikely to extract honey from a package; Likely add second super to hives

July

Continue testing colonies for mites and monitor overall hive health

July

Test mite levels in colonies Potentially treat; Unlikely to extract honey from a package; Likely add second super to hives; Remove Drone comb

August

Continue monitoring of colonies and brood; extract and bottle honey

August

Nectar flow is generally over or very minimal; Test mite population and treat as needed; Reduce and equalize/combine colonies as needed; Check queen has space to lay; Ensure colonies are still rearing brood; Extract and bottle honey; Add Entrance reducers and prevent robbing

September-December

Combine hives; ready equipment and queen(s) for the next season

September-December

Equalize/Combine hives, clear dead-out equipment, define hive losses; Continue to prevent robbing, reduce colonies if needed; Ensure an egg-laying queen is present; Test and treat for mites if needed, feed syrup, feed pollen patties

Links and other Resources

Regulations

Unincorporated Sacramento County
Zoning Code 3.4.2.B;  pp 38-40.

Code Link

Sac County Apiary REGISTRATION

City of Sacramento

Others areas:
– Elk Grove Regulations
– Placer County
– Yolo County

California State Laws Pertaining to Bee Management and Honey Production
State Laws