July Tips

In our area, summer weather often doesn’t arrive until July 5–just a few hours too late for the July 4th fireworks show to be visible through the final rainstorm or low clouds of “June-uary.”

But when it finally does arrive, the bees are out early to visit the multitudes of flowers that somehow managed to bloom in profusion in spite of the previous month’s capricious weather.

Pollinator garden, early July (image: Susi Thomas)

Another beekeeping feature of our July is that it is usually a very swarmy month….with big population build-up in the hives, frames filling up fast with brood and honey, leaving insufficient space for the queen to lay her routine 2000 eggs per day.

July keeps our EJBees’ swarm responders busy and our swarm recipients happy. And the swarm-losers…. well, there are some tough breaks, and most beekeepers have the experience at some point or other.

Therefore, it is important to conduct frequent hive inspections watching for charged swarm cells and emergency queen cells (indicating either an impending swarm, or that one has already occurred!), as well as for hives and frames that are filling up.

For the beekeeper, some July tips:

  • Watch for robbing! Hive entrance restrictors should be in place now, and your robbing screens should be ready to go.
Stop the robbing–use an entrance restrictor (Image: Neverdone Apiary)
  • For honey-extraction day (maybe in late July), leave a garden hose out in the sun to have plenty of hot water for cleaning the extractor. To increase storage capacity, connect two or more hoses together.  Be sure to turn water off at the hose bib and relieve pressure on the filled hose.

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