Monday, July 27, 2015

Honey Flow is almost complete

The honey flow in mid-Wisconsin is rapidly winding down.  Of course there are still some smaller sources, such as goldenrod and asters, yet to begin.  My notes indicate probably 90% of the honey you are going to get is already in the hive.  With the decline in readily available nectar and the hives at about their maximum population the potential for hive robbing is at its greatest.  What usually happens is the strong hives begin robbing the weak; especially in crowded apiaries.  If you see a sudden increase in flight activity at a weaker hive's entrance be on the watchout for robbing.  On weak hives it is a good idea to install the entrance reducer with the 4-5 inch opening in position.  This will give the weak hive a better chance of defending their honey.  Read this link for a little more information on robbing.

With the honey flow winding down its also time to begin thinking about the honey harvest.  "Keeping Backyard Bees" has a short article on some preparations you can do in advance of the harvest.  Also, if you haven't got your honey bottles, you better do it NOW because the local suppliers will soon be at zero stock.  It happens every year.  But remember canning jars work just as well.

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