It’s August, it’s still really hot and nothing is blooming… what should I be doing as a beekeeper this month?
The following list was published by Dr. John A. Skinner (Professor & Apiculture Specialist @ UT) in the Beekeeping in Tennessee publication from UT (PB 1745), and is available at the following URL: https://utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/documents/PB1745.pdf
Seasonal Management: August
• Extract remaining supers.
• Return extracted supers to colony for cleaning just before dark to prevent robbing by colonies.
• Remove cleaned supers from colony, and store under para-di-chloro-benzene fumigation to prevent wax moth damage.
• Check brood nest for diseases and mites. Mite populations tend to peak late in August or early September and can cause death or irreversible damage in this month.
• Treat for varroa mites if necessary. Remove honey for human consumption first. If treating annually, treat in August to control mites in advance of the production of overwintering bees and peak in mite numbers.
• Requeen if desired before or after treating for mites, but not during. Many mite treatments affect queen laying.
• Before placing new caged queen in the colony, remove the old queen. Check the brood chamber and make sure you have adequate brood and adult bee population for survival (e.g. two or more frames of sealed brood). Place the caged queen over the frames of brood, 24 hours later.
• Recheck the requeened colonies in three days for release from the cage and at10 days for a laying queen. If eggs are present, do not disturb the colony.
• Insert entrance reducers to prevent robbing and reduce the hive to the size of overwintering to help the colony manage hive beetles, if not already done.
• Colonies will readily take feed and convert it to brood after the honey flow is over. Feed colonies where it is desired to build their population (e.g. weak colonies and new colonies started late).