BEEKEEPER'S CALENDAR - July
JULY AND THE BEES:
Since the major nectar flow ended late June, the bees will become much more flighty, searching for nectar which is not as plentiful to find. The bees are beginning the final effort to store up for winter, searching for final nectar sources. Golden Rod and Aster plants may provide some nectar flow in the fall.
JULY AND THE BEEKEEPER:
Continue to check your supers! You'll now be removing and extracting your honey.
Most beekeepers begin to consider the amount of mites within hives during July. Most begin to treat, based upon mite count/survey results. However, no treatments can be administered in a hive while supers are on. This could contaminate the honey with chemical residue. If possible, do not use chemicals in your hives but do treat for mites with powdered sugar. However, it is wise to wait until the last summer nectar flow is over and the honey has been harvested before treating with powdered sugar. For our part of Virginia, the summer nectar flow ends about the third week of June. If mites become a problem it will be during the summer and fall months. It is best not to disturb our bees during summer nectar flows unless there is evidence of extremely heavy mite loads. We do not want any traces of powder sugar to be added to the honey, so we wait until our honey is harvested in July.
If you have multiple hives, you must be careful not to let a strong hive rob a weak hive. Be careful not to open up the hive for extended periods as other hives may try to rob the weaker hive while it is opened.