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Bee tips for July
1) Plan now for the August honey Flow by getting extra honey supers ready, buying jars and cleaning up extracting equipment.
2) Check your hives for Varroa as you work your bees by opening a few drone cells and checking for mites.
3) Look at brood patterns, pollen stores and nectar organization. Does your queen have 7 frames to lay out in a 21 cycle. Add comb or foundation to the center of the brood nest to curb swarming and increase egg laying.
4) Stop and smell the roses on a nice day working the bees -
advised - July 2014
It was a busy spring and by now everyone's bees should be in a solid brood cycle and ready to go. Let's take a look at some summer work that will help prevent late swarms, help get the best of the honey flow and prepare us for a successful winter. Late swarms often happen in mid August as bees build up and "sense" the main season flow which starts with Golden Rod around Aug. 08. in our area. Swarming starts weeks in advance and is how bees propagate their species and is more prevalent in crowded hives. Here are a few quick tips to manage swarming:
1) Watch for large numbers of drones, an early swarm indicator.
2) Curb crowding by placing a frame of foundation in the middle of the cluster
3) Leave an upper entrance using an Imaree shim or simply adding an upper entrance for field workers by jogging your 2nd honey super back just enough that bees may enter and leave.
4) Add extra room before the flow - extra empty honey supers will get bees working up and get filled faster when a flow comes.
Summer Mite treatment:
Treat for mites now, during the last two weeks of August. Knocking down phoertic mites during this 2 week nectar dearth using Formic, thymol or any other food grade treatment will greatly decrease your mite load at peak season and result in a healthier winter cluster.
By giving bees a weak sugar syrup (1:1) feed the last two weeks of July, the bees will maintain populations during dearth and be stronger going into the main honey flow. This can increase harvest considerably.
Have a great July, bee happy and keep those beehives buzzing.