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Monthly Tips- August
- Check for varroa mites by opening 5 or 10 drone cells at the bottom of a frame and look for mites. The are easy to see on the drone larvae and in the cells or do a powdered sugar roll with about 100 bees brushed into a quart canning jar with about 2 or 3 table spoons of powdered sugar. Make sure to not include the queen in the brushing. Then look for the dark colored mites on the glass. Afterwards shake the bees onto the ground
- Apply a mid season treatment to impact mites to ensure a strong honey gathering force and a path to a healthy winter cluster. Fromic Acid or Powdered Sugar (search for Randy Oliver - scientific beekeeping for instructions)
Super your hives to give extra room. On a 2 story configuration ( which we think is the poorest set up for successful wintering) 2 or 3 honey supers will be about right - on single hive body configuration 4 or more honey supers may be necessary. This will be reduced somewhat if you are using foundation. A strong hive in a good honey flow can put up a super of honey in 7 days.
Plan on your honey harvest for the end of August, beginning of September and order your jars and any extracting supplies you might need, ie strainers, buckets and such
advised - September 2013
Greetings fellow apiarists! As it turns out again this year August was not the best month for bees with very cool wet weather in our region. We completed out 1 and 2 frame splits off our 2 queen units the beginning of August and they are doing well. We had a very consistent bloom throughout the summer lacking the normal dearth the end of July. This did allow the hives, despite the weather, to build solid populations and as we look at September and a huge bloom are hopefull for a reasonable fall crop.
This will be the race for the end of the season to get hives ready for what may be a long cold winter. If you did not treat for varroa and trachael mites in July or August you may have a very short window left for a belated less effective treatment but possibly enough to still give a chance for a reasonable winter cluster. We have heard from multiple locations that American Foulbrood is making a comeback so if you don't do preventitive treatments you will need to educate yourself regarding this issue which twice in the past 100 years has wiped out thousands and thousands of hives in the USA and elsewhere. The best resource is a New Zealand Study called Control of American Foulbrood without the use of Antibiotics. Check your hives for winter stores and provide a gallon of 1:1 feed via a top feeder before Oct. 15 for any hives which are light.
With 15 NYC markets and still over 300 supers of honey to pull life at the farm is pretty busy. As always, e-mail us if we can advise you on any issues you are having with your bees.