January is my best time to get things done. The holidays are over and there is not much happening.
I will be getting equipment ready this month for the new year. Nuc boxes have to be built for my 2008 nucs that will be coming in early May.
Boxes can be painted now and other maintenance that has been put off.
January is a good time to reflect on last years successes and failures. I often think of why one hive does well and others don't perform as well.
I have learned though the years when my failures were many. that I must be doing something wrong and a new strategy is in order.
Many times I received information from a beekeeper on how to do something and it doesn't work, only to repeat this same method again. A method of management is repeated only because the beekeeper doesn't know any other way to do it.
Knowledge on beekeeping is out there and now is the time to get it.
Take a bee class:http://www.extension.umn.edu/honeybees/components/shortcourse.htm
Order a bee trade magazine for beginners: http://www.beeculture.com/
or this magazine covering more in depth issues: http://www.dadant.com/journal/
Join a bee club: http://www.mnbeekeepers.com/
there are other clubs in St Cloud area and western Wisconsin.