What are you predicting for August?

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Hagfish 

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I'm based on Merseyside and have just read that everyone is having a bumper year. However, my bees have slowed right down. In the last week of warm weather they were packing in the nectar but it seems to have slowed right down. I know a lot of people take their supers off in August but in previous years my bees have been fairly productive in August.

I guess what I'm asking is what should I expect? This year has thrown me with the weather. Will there be more forage or is the season done now?
 

Curly green finger's 

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I'm based on Merseyside and have just read that everyone is having a bumper year. However, my bees have slowed right down. In the last week of warm weather they were packing in the nectar but it seems to have slowed right down. I know a lot of people take their supers off in August but in previous years my bees have been fairly productive in August.

I guess what I'm asking is what should I expect? This year has thrown me with the weather. Will there be more forage or is the season done now?
Have a walk around your apiarys and watch the bees, ghost bees going into the hives today and the flow seemed to be back on somewhat.
The rain this last week has given the blackberrys a bit of life, rosebay still flowering here also and don't forget the thistles.
Where are you situated on the edge of a village, town or out in the sticks?
 

Hagfish 

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Have a walk around your apiarys and watch the bees, ghost bees going into the hives today and the flow seemed to be back on somewhat.
The rain this last week has given the blackberrys a bit of life, rosebay still flowering here also and don't forget the thistles.
Where are you situated on the edge of a village, town or out in the sticks?
I have two apiaries and both are in residential areas. I guess you'd call it the suburbs. Ine is in greenbelt land and the other near a park. On previous years though they were all on 1 site and this was near a large park full of lime. Ot hist feels to me that they aren't where I would like them to be in terms of production this year. However, like I said I have no idea what August will bring.
 

Curly green finger's 

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I have two apiaries and both are in residential areas. I guess you'd call it the suburbs. Ine is in greenbelt land and the other near a park. On previous years though they were all on 1 site and this was near a large park full of lime. Ot hist feels to me that they aren't where I would like them to be in terms of production this year. However, like I said I have no idea what August will bring.
I don't think any of us do, I've found my hives near villages to be more productive not having to fly to far for forage. Plus I'm on high ground and forage is always later flowering so a different sinario.
There should be a bit more diversity for you in the suburbs.?
New apiary sites will change from year to year, as I said I would have a walk around and watch the colonys on occasions when the weather is better heft or lookin over the next week.
I don't know what the weather has been like with you? but it was dry here for weeks no rain and things slowed down alot of rain over the last week and hopefully a few weeks of stable - ish weather will help.

Did you assess the new site previously?
I think it will take more than one season to dicide if its a poor area.
Keep your chin up I don't think the season is finished yet!
 

elainemary 

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August is usually my best month. Heather flow at my home apiary and balsam in apiaries down in the valley. Heather flow started 10 August last year linked to high humidity and a week of 20C+. Forecast showing rainy conditions next week and expecting flow to tick over til mid August. Then a few days at 19/20C from 12 August with a current prediction of warm but humid weather, interspersed with odd showers, means potentially a good flow ahead, so will be getting empty supers on beforehand.

Down in the valley, bees yesterday were coming back with thick white stripes on their thorax, lots of white and yellow pollen too, despite cooler grey, cloudy conditions c16C. Balsam flowing. Predict a strong flow mid to end August.

Varroa drops are relatively low this year from my sugar shakes and early samples from insert boards, but will be treating from end Aug, to protect winter bees. From end Aug the flow can still be good, weather depending in Sept, but my priority will be health of my bees, so I’ll resist the temptation to delay treating and leave around a super of uncapped honey and any income in Sept from the balsam and heather, for them. I’m also trialling over wintering in double brood in around a third of colonies. I’ll assess again end Sept and top up with invert if needed to c45lb per colony, a bit more for the largest ones. They won’t need it all, last 2 years each have consumed 20-23lb stores but hedges against isolation starvation and a cold slow spring.
 

tonyofarr 

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Usually by the time August starts our honey flow is over. At the home apiary the blackberries have finished and although there are still fields of clover around the weather forecasts don't look good enough for a flow so we will be taking the finished supers off.

We have a new apiary on the Devon coast that we might get some more honey at, there are still blackberries to flower and there are loads of field thistles. Three of our apiaries bring in some himalayan balsom, but never in any great quantity.

The rubbish weather over the last week has been almost Autumnal and we are now starting to see wasps. I wish that heatwave could have gone on longer!
 

Curly green finger's 

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August is usually my best month. Heather flow at my home apiary and balsam in apiaries down in the valley. Heather flow started 10 August last year linked to high humidity and a week of 20C+. Forecast showing rainy conditions next week and expecting flow to tick over til mid August. Then a few days at 19/20C from 12 August with a current prediction of warm but humid weather, interspersed with odd showers, means potentially a good flow ahead, so will be getting empty supers on beforehand.

Down in the valley, bees yesterday were coming back with thick white stripes on their thorax, lots of white and yellow pollen too, despite cooler grey, cloudy conditions c16C. Balsam flowing. Predict a strong flow mid to end August.

Varroa drops are relatively low this year from my sugar shakes and early samples from insert boards, but will be treating from end Aug, to protect winter bees. From end Aug the flow can still be good, weather depending in Sept, but my priority will be health of my bees, so I’ll resist the temptation to delay treating and leave around a super of uncapped honey and any income in Sept from the balsam and heather, for them. I’m also trialling over wintering in double brood in around a third of colonies. I’ll assess again end Sept and top up with invert if needed to c45lb per colony, a bit more for the largest ones. They won’t need it all, last 2 years each have consumed 20-23lb stores but hedges against isolation starvation and a cold slow spring.
Ghost bees at the Heather sites yesterday and lots of bee's on the thistles. ( none on the Heather yet)
The hb is a mile away at least but strong colonys will find it.
 

elainemary 

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Ghost bees at the Heather sites yesterday and lots of bee's on the thistles. ( none on the Heather yet)
The hb is a mile away at least but strong colonys will find it.
Yes mine are about a mile away from the balsam at home. Yet lots of white dots on their thorax today, not as prominent as the wide stripes on my bees in the valley bottom.
Thought about you today as I found a really good heather stance, covering a very large moorland area about 2 miles in direct bee flight from where I live (5 miles by car). Can drive down a private farm track right onto the moor, v secluded & no other beekeepers anywhere near. Found the farmer & he has said I can bring a hive, to try directly on the moor this year. A small amount of balsam nearby but not much else. Be interesting to see the difference vs my colonies at home that have to fly about 1/2 mile to nearby heather with other forage to choose from.
 

Curly green finger's 

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Yes mine are about a mile away from the balsam at home. Yet lots of white dots on their thorax today, not as prominent as the wide stripes on my bees in the valley bottom.
Thought about you today as I found a really good heather stance, covering a very large moorland area about 2 miles in direct bee flight from where I live (5 miles by car). Can drive down a private farm track right onto the moor, v secluded & no other beekeepers anywhere near. Found the farmer & he has said I can bring a hive, to try directly on the moor this year. A small amount of balsam nearby but not much else. Be interesting to see the difference vs my colonies at home that have to fly about 1/2 mile to nearby heather with other forage to choose from.
I can only dream of proper Moorland I suppose we have the nipstones and stiperstones which are Moorland enough but not like what you have up there.
What sort of colony configuration are you taking to the farm site Elaine?
 

elainemary 

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I can only dream of proper Moorland I suppose we have the nipstones and stiperstones which are Moorland enough but not like what you have up there.
What sort of colony configuration are you taking to the farm site Elaine?
It’s a colony with this years queen. Checked through yesterday on 8 good frames of brood but was united to a split from another large colony so plenty of flying bees. It’s a v busy hive given it’s been building up from June. At the moment it has a super nearly full of stores, another half full and another drawing thin cut comb about 2/3rds drawn. I’ll take the heaviest super off next week and move a few frames with stores in to the edges of the other super. So they’ll have 1 empty super and one 2/3rds empty. I have another drawn super in reserve which I’ll put above the crownboard as contingency. It’s in a wbc at the moment so have been thinking whether to move it to a polyhive but on balance as only one hive I will move on it’s floor with lifts off and leave in wbc then add lifts back in situ. Take less time and faff. Plan to move around 8th as weather is dry and warmer from 10th.
 

REDWOOD 

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No doubt it will rain in Wales but to what extent is in the hands of the gods but so far less than average. Extracted some supers yesterday and one was rammed with HB, never had it that this early. Supers back on this week and hope for the best. 🙏
 

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