August already?

And so it is suddenly August in the beeyard! Now what? My latest adventure involved two queens and as it turned out, making two nucs. I have found flexibility to be one of the better tools in my tool box. I went to the yard planning to install a queen into a queen-less nuc and a queen-less hive but as so often happens to me, the bees had different approach to beekeeping and are always much better at it. Both had productive queens! I quickly made two splits, crossing my fingers that they would work as it is a bit late for me to make splits. Six days later I released these queens into reasonable looking 5 frame nucs.

A week or so after that (and only by happenstance) I was in the yard when a small swarm settled onto a low branch. Completely unprepared for this and having nothing with me to deal with a swarm, I did the only thing I could think to do (which was probably the worst thing to do); grab the top cover from a weak hive, shake the swarm on to it and then shake the swarm into the weak hive. I’m sure the reaction was ugly but here are still live bees in the weak hive so I will find out just how bad my decision turns out to be.

The two nucs both absconded – not a bee left. Wonder where that swarm came from? I’ll know if I find a green marked queen in the weak hive.

Late July mite drop boards showed mite levels higher than I like. All the surplus honey is off so treatment was used. I’ll put the drop boards back for three days to determine how effective the treatment was. I am convinced that low mite levels are the most important objective for late summer beekeeping and successful overwintering. The only discussion is how to keep (get?) mites to a low level.