It has been a good week in the bees. We took a look in the hives to be sure they have the space needed to keep gathering honey. If they run out the hive will suffer and the queen will not have room to lay. This is also good time of year to organize the bee supplies and start to think about extracting. I like to extract any hives that are more than one super high around the beginning of August. This will allow the bees time to refill them if we get a good fall flow. I don't like to add any honey supers that are not already drawn comb after July. I think this just gives them too much work to do building comb and takes away the space needed to store honey. If all you have is empty frames than it is better than nothing!
This is also when I start looking at hives and think ahead to winter. If I have a struggling hive now is the time to fix it, not in September. I will add brood as I see fit and if really needed switch out the queen.
The hay fields that were not cut are FULL of red clover. It seems to be giving the bees a great mid summer treat. With the rain we have not had too many flying days for the poor bees or cutting hay days for the farmers. It seems to be helping the bees. It isn't a bumper year so far but it isn't a really bad one either.
A lot of people have problems with ants this time of year. I have read a thousand different things to help with them. I used to let them drive me nuts with worry. Now I do a couple easy things that help a lot. First I make my own ant bait. Mix grape jelly and Borax ,(this is sold in the laundry aisle). I mix it to a paste then put it in a Tupperware dish with holes cut in it small enough for a bee to pass. I then put it under the hives. This has worked for me like a charm! The other thing you can do is keep wax moth numbers down. I hang traps: with any old juice bottle put in a cup of water, a cup of sugar, 1/2 cup vinegar, and a banana peel. Put a 1 inch hole on the upper part of the bottle and hang it in the yard. It WORKS!!
Things this week
- Keep pests out
- Check space
- Get ready for extracting round one
- Keep the weeds down and tidy up the