In our area, there is not a lot of work to be done in the apiary during December, although the bees will come out and fly any day that the weather and temperature allow. Unless we experience an extended hard freeze or very long-lasting snow, there are usually at least a few flowers blooming throughout the season that venturesome bees can visit (hellebore and winter heather, for example).
- Continue checking for mites and doing oxalic acid treatment as needed. You should see mite drop of no more than 1 per day. If you observe a mite problem, ask your mentor about winter methods, or consult Randy Oliver’s “Scientific Beekeeping” website:
- Take the winter months to read beekeeping books, journals and articles, and to view beekeeping videos online. Plan out your apiary year.
- Try some of the honey recipes you’ve collected—dishes from hors d’oeuvres to dessert, and everything in between.
- Use the beeswax you’ve saved this year—make products, crafts or artwork: for example, candles, salves or creams, crayons (see “Kids’ Page” activity, December 2022 EJ’s News), wood polish, waxed textiles, batik, découpage, etc. There are plenty of resources for “How to ……” in library books and online, or ask your friends in the bee club!