We have to be prepared for anything as beekeepers, and this summer proved to be an unusual and hard summer for beekeeping in Alberta. In Edmonton, we experienced a late start to the main flow, but when it came -it was fast.
August has created conditions for unusual swarming. Although not typical, the weather fluctuations and rain caused many hives to swarm late in the season. Social media was flooded with calls to catch swarms daily.
Although there were many ups and downs, most people have harvested honey or are doing so right now.
One of the most common questions we get is, when should I take my honey?
Everyone’s hives are at different points, and the answer to the question depends on what you are seeing. The main flow in Edmonton starred July 11, north and west of the City it started in late June. In our area the honey flow is coming to an end. See our video on harvesting honey.
Is it nearing the end of the main flow in your area? Are most of the blooms done? If so, it’s time to take the honey. In the summer we get a nectar flow--Canola, alfalfa and sweet clover. For the fall, we are heading into pollen bearing flowers such as borage, golden rod and sunflowers. Check out our auto flow hive and honey comb video.
This depends on your setup and how you plan to overwinter.
So we are now quickly coming to fall prep. We did our supers, most of you have already harvested honey, and now it’s prepping for the fall. Make sure your queen is in the bottom box when you are finished with harvesting honey. Now we have to move along and think about things like checking our mite levels and being prepared for fall critters that can wreak havoc on our hives too. See our video with tips on reducing entrances for robbing wasps. If you have been doing varroa mite checks, good for you! If you haven’t yet, you should plan to check your mite level this fall. Stay tuned for fall prep tips!
Have questions? We love hearing from you! Visit our Edmonton store for advice and the supplies you need this fall or shop online www.hiveworld.ca. Are you ready with entrance reducers and mouse guards?
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Honey Flow Tips
Queen bees do a lot of work in their short lives. A queen lays 175,000 to 200,000 eggs each year! In two to three years, the queen is usually at the end of her ability to lay enough eggs for a colony to succeed. So, what is requeening and what are the five signs to look for?