Bee Keepers Tips for the Month
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Hot Tips

July and August

  • Swarming should be over by early July, allowing the colony to concentrate on collecting nectar.
  • Set up wasp traps a few metres from your hives (jam jars containing water and a spoonful of jam work well).
  • Honey can be harvested in early August allowing the bees to keep what more they make for themselves.
  • After the honey has been harvested, remove the queen excluder, and put a crown board below any supers that you are leaving on to be cleaned out.
  • Treat the brood box for varroa (Apiguard gel or ApiLife Var strips are recommended). Record the varroa drop in the following two weeks so that you know how badly your colonies are infested.
  • In early August reduce the size of the entrance so the diminishing colony can defend itself against wasps.

September

  • Time to feed the colony for the winter, replacing the honey taken. Feed continuously with standard strength sugar syrup (1 kg added to one pint of water). The colony will need at least 15kg of syrup (more for the bigger hives) to take it through the cold months ahead.
  • Feeding needs to be completed before the end of the month to give the colony time to drive off the excess water.
  • varroa treatment should be considered.
  • Fit a mouse guard to the hive entrance.