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Beekeepers Blog - May 2023

Beekeepers Blog - May 2023

The May edition of our 2023 blog. Written by the beekeepers here at Thornes.

This month has been very exciting and busy, as May usually is. After a slow start, the weather really picked up and we have seen the beekeeping season kick off. However, as we enter June, it looks like we have taken yet another dive into some depressing temperatures for the time of year, so we are finding beekeeping a bit stop-start this season.


The cold weather at the start of the month has meant that some of our frames, particularly the larger sizes of the 14”x12” have not been drawn out properly. As you can see, some of the bees have made a bit of a mess of the foundation here. That said, most of them, like this one, have been drawn out well and we have seen a lot of brood and stores filling them up.


May 2023 Blog

May 2023 Blog

May 2023 Blog

May 2023 Blog


It is always nice to see the queens, even if that is not what we are looking for. She gives us reassurance that all is well (generally!) and here you can see a lovely queen we managed to get a photo of.

May is always our busiest month as we do artificial swarms and take off nucs. That is not to say we haven’t had any rogue swarms, we have, but not that many so far this year. Sometimes it seems it is almost inevitable that some will swarm, regardless of what the books say and what we have done to prevent it.


The nucs we take off at this time of year tend to be ones on British Standard frames that you would find in a National or WBC hive. As the season progresses and the bees have chance to draw out even more comb during warmer spells, we find we can take off more 14x12 and Langstroth nucs than we can earlier in the season. We don’t run as many of these types of hives but we are looking to increase year on year to provide nucs for beekeepers who prefer to use those hives.

In June we will continue to do our swarm control and take off nucs, however we anticipate a slightly slower month, especially as it comes to an end. We always keep in mind the June gap, where we may need to keep an eye on the honey flow and feed if necessary.


May 2023 Blog

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