July in the Apiary
Honey flow is on, & colony strength can be assessed by how busy the girls are in coming and going at the entrance. A number between 30 and 90 per minute indicates a strong hive. This would indicate about 40,000 bees as a rough estimate. New hives may be less.
Other things to consider:
- Re-queen if necessary (check that brood pattern is solid, and not ‘shot-gun’
- Monitor strength: unite weak colonies with healthy strong ones. (dequeen 1st of course, and use newspaper combining method)
- Do your splits now if you are desiring to reduce a large hive and want to start a new one.
- Add honey super when 6 or 7 frames are filled from your two deeps. If you have it on, and it is already 6 or 7 in use, add another super, or pull individual CAPPED honey frames and replace with an empty frame.
- Best to not dig too deeply in hives now as this disrupts production during honey-flow. Limit your visits to brief, gentle interruptions only if really necessary.
- If adding a 2nd honey super, leave the honey filled one over the brood box and add the new over it. This honey barrier discourages the queen from moving up, making a queen excluder unnecessary
- During this hot month, be sure to provide adequate hive ventilation, so bees can cool the hive and cure the honey adequately.
- If you have a super on, any syrup fed will end up there. However 1:1 feeding is still okay if you are helping them pull out wax on an un-pulled honey super. Once the wax is pulled, stop the feeding. White wax is a sign of new wax in a queen right healthy hive.
- This is a perfect time to raise queens due to the natural food sources available.
- Excess heat over 90 degrees: have fresh water nearby, place a shade making board, tree branch, or cardboard over the cover and weigh it down with a rock or brick. Get shade to the entrance if possible. Stagger supers if possible just enough to let air in, but not bees. Have opening to the rear where less activity is. You may also place a small stick or rock between super and deep, just enough for helping air flow. This would be for hives in full sun all day. Close up after the hot days are no longer in the 90’s. Bearding this time of year, and at night, is normal.
Many thanks to Kim Rivera for these July notes
Thursday July 9th at 6:00pm
There will be a beginners corner starting at 5:30 to answer questions or discuss items in an informal way.