In the ApiaryPractical Advice

The Apiary in July

This should be the start of the main nectar flow as after all the wet in June a little heat from the sun will make everything burst into bloom. There will be flows from the big producers like Borage,Lime,White clover(if you are lucky to have some near your bees) Field Beans and Blackberry to name a few.

If all has gone well and those weak colonies that struggled through the winter have recovered and other hives have not swarmed you should have your hives at their peak performance with an abundance of foragers ready to take advantage of all of those flowers for nectar and pollen.Please ensure you have plenty of supers on your hives always better to put to many (at least two) on rather than cramp them into a hive full of nectar reducing the Queens ability to lay and encouraging late swarms which none of us need at this time of the season.

It is also a good idea to ensure you have your extraction equipment ready as getting the main crop off in August will not be far away. Have you sufficient jars to put your crop into or plastic buckets to store it in for bottling later in the year.

Please remember that some of the membership services we provide (as well as loads of advice)include the loan of extraction equipment which is stored at Will’s Farm. We have a 9 frame electrical extractor, a four frame manual extractor, and a warming tray if you are unlucky and the honey granulate in the comb before you are able to extract it from the hives. It is best you buy your own settling /ripening tanks, the plastic ones are very competitively priced these days.

Keep the regular checks going in the brood chamber to ensure the Queen is laying well and they are not thinking of swarming. Keep an eye on the Varroa population as it will not be long before that starts to peak and again prepare for the treatment you intend to use once the honey crop is taken off.

The worker wasps are about as well as robber bees so with you weaker colonies or Queen raising Nucs ensure they have small entrances. If you are feeding them ensure that no syrup is split near the hives. Once robbing starts you will never stop it unless you move the colony at least a mile away.

This is the month all your hard work and preparation will come to fruitition.

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