August in the Northwest Apiary

Much of the flora has begun to dry out. Some beekeepers are seeing some attempted robbing by the bees when the hive is open. This is a good time to place robbing screens on the hives. There is more of chance that robbing will occur when there is an abundance of hives in a centralized area. Robbing instinct is also hereditary.

Around the first of August is the time to take the honey supers off. There are several different methods to accomplish this. WVBA members have free access to extracting equipment.

It is time to check your colonies varroa mite levels. The most accurate method of testing is the alcohol wash. With this method, if your mite count is above 2%, you need to do something to reduce your varroa mite load.  The second most accurate testing method is the powered sugar shake.  FAILURE TO DO SOMETHING BY MID AUGUST WILL COMPROMISE THE COLONIES ABILITY TO MAKE IT THROUGH WINTER. There are several options for varroa control. I would suggest attending your local bee meetings and be in tune with the latest strategies.

This is a good time to begin feeding syrup and pollen patties. There are those who don’t believe in feeding syrup. Would you not feed your other livestock like cattle, horses, and etc.? The idea behind Fall feeding, is to produce as many HEALTHY Winter bees as possible before Winter.

Queen check your colonies. You don’t have to find the queen. Just make sure eggs are present.

FLORA: Some plants that continue to be in bloom are: false dandelion, pumpkins, squash,  Queen Anne’s lace (wild carrot), Russian sage, various herbs, sunflowers, borage, and white clover in the irrigated pastures. Some other plants that are in bloom are: aster, buckwheat, arrowleaf clover, peppermint, and single type dahlias. Sweet corn pollen is now available, however it’s not a high quality pollen.

Copyright 2015-Richard Farrier-All rights reserved