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August Beekeeping Tips
2. Test and treat for mites if you have not already. This is one of the most critical things to do this time of year! See our testing and treating videos or our articles about mites in the July edition. For summer treatments, we recommend Apivar or Hopguard. Test afterward to make sure they worked!
3. If you do not see at least half a frame of stored, multi-colored pollen in your hive, consider feeding pollen patties. I recommend 2, 1 lb patties per month for strong hives. Hot, dry summer conditions can kill the majority of blooming plants or at least cause them to stop producing large amounts of pollen. In these cases, giving your hive a few pounds of pollen patties each month can be an excellent way to keep the queen laying, and maintain your hive strength. Oftentimes a hive that dwindles over the summer can be the result of insufficient protein, or too many varroa mites. Check out our video on how and when to feed pollen patties during the summer, and how to tell if your hive really needs them.
4. As you feed your hive syrup, adding Super DFM or an essential oil mix like Pro Health can help give your hive the extra nutrition they need to thrive during the summer. Anything you can give your bees over the next few months to help them thrive should be used.
5. Bee flight will be minimal during the heat of the day. Most activity will occur early in the morning and late in the day. A beard of bees hanging outside the entrance, especially in the evening, is normal this time of year. If your hive is especially strong, giving them a total of 3 boxes rather than 2 is advised.
6. It's HOT! Consider working bees in the early morning, or late in the evening. A beard of bees hanging outside the entrance, especially in the evening, is normal this time of year. If your hive is especially strong, giving them a total of 3 boxes rather than 2 is advised. All hives should have at least a total of 2 boxes. Giving your hive some temporary shade to help keep them cool is ideal!
7. Keep in mind that winter preparation begins as soon as you harvest honey, with treating for mites, and feeding properly. The health of your hive over the summer greatly impacts its ability to survive the winter!
8. Finally, consider putting your bees to work this summer, since working bees tend to be healthier. Practice trickle feeding, and learn how to get them to draw foundation for next year!