Summer Management Many commercial beekeepers are working hard to get their bees ready for pollination
Hobby Beekeepers We Manage for: a)Winter Survivability b)Minimal Swarming Behavior c)Honey Production
Brood diseases in Ohio 2005 Apiary Statistics From ODA Colonies Inspected 21,389 American Foulbrood 388 (1.8%) European Foulbrood 31 (0.1%) Chalk brood 396 (1.9%) Varroa Mite 6,720 (31%) Tracheal Mite 41 (0.2%) Small Hive Beetle 539 (2.5%) Wax moth 0 This doesn’t seem like much but they spread QUICKLY!
Summer Management April/May FEED FEED FEED Reverse your Hive bodies Make sure there is food in the brood chamber Make sure that your queen is laying - look for eggs and larva Get your Supers Ready Prepare to SPLIT or Add Hive Body to prevent swarming
Summer Management How to Check your Queen Presence of Queen Learn to recognize Eggs, Larva, Capped Brood vs. Capped Honey Eggs situated in normal position What a Queen Looks Like Quantity of Brood Brood Should be on several frames Frames should be about 2/3 full of brood – corners have honey Quality of Brood Brood pattern should be solid – not a mixture of capped and uncapped in the same area. Check on honey and pollen stores as bad brood and result from lack of food!
Summer Management How to Check your Queen For a Productive Hive – Queen MUST produce 1500 eggs/day Replace the Queen with a newly mated Queen Kill the Queen and allow the colony to make a new one (~40 days to Eggs) If two very week hives, kill the Queens, combine hives, requeen
Summer Management June Watch for Swarming behavior and get ready to intercede! Be Ready to add Supers when the nectar flow starts Check for Mites and other diseases as colony expands
Summer Management July Check to make sure queen is still productive (requeen if necessary) Continue checking for disease Check stored equipment for wax moth (No Naptha) Remove full supers and extract Honey! Place wet frames back in supers and let bees do the cleaning Cover removed frames to prevent “Robbing”
Summer Management Robbing Honey bees are good at finding nectar/honey sources. Last year my “Strong Hive” Robbed from my “Weak Hive” I fixed them! I moved 2 frames of brood with nurse bees to the weak hive!
Summer Management August Add Supers and Remove Full Ones Extract Honey When last Super removed - FEED FEED FEED!
Honey Extraction Chunk Honey/Cut Comb Honey Shallow Supers with Thin Foundation Held in Place with melted wax or wooden wedge Place Supers above a queen excluder bait the super with honey Place empty super on top until bottom one is ¾ full, then reverse them
Wax Production A valuable by-product of beekeeping! DO NOT USE OLD Brood Comb!
Summer Management How and When to Check Your Hives Is too much Inspection a Bad Thing?
Hive Inspection Nothing Short of a “Home Invasion” Beginning Beekeepers Inspect our Hives TOO MUCH Goal is to get familiar with “outside” to tell you what is happening on the “inside” How does the colony behave? Are there a lot of bees coming and going? Are there dead bees/larva on the landing board? Is there a strange smell? Does it sound like a softly purring engine? How much does your hive weigh?
Hive Inspection Nothing Short of a “Home Invasion” IF you SEE # of Bees seems to be decreasing Dead Bees, larva, or pupae on the landing board Detect a strange or foul odor Bees that are unusually temperamental Robbers, predators, or leaking honey Lethargic, aimless, or deformed bees ANYTHING out of the Ordinary OPEN IT UP!
Hive Inspection Nothing Short of a “Home Invasion” Visually Inspect your Hives Exterior Often BUT Removing Frames: Disrupts Hive activity for 4-8 hours Agitates the Bees Breaks Propolis Seals Damages comb and disrupts Honey Risks Heating or Chilling Brood Changes the Hive Humidity – harm larva Invites Predators into the Hive RISKS HARMING THE QUEEN
Routine Maintenance Be Non-Invasive! Lift Lid and Slide Inner Cover Slightly to the Side To: Add sugar water to the feeders Add Pollen patties or mite treatments Weigh Hive To: Determine Hive Health (Honey, Comb, Bees are heavy) Look for Swarm Cells by Lifting Hive Body and Inspecting all Frame Bottoms at the same time Look of Mites by use of Sticky Board
Routine Maintenance Be Non-Invasive! Last Year I: Opened the Lid and Inner cover every Wednesday Pulled Frames every Saturday This Year I Will: Hopefully Control by Curiosity Follow the Recommendations on the Previous Slides!