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July

The Bees

The population of the hive should start to peak near the end of the month provided they are a strong hive. Some colonies this year have struggled to boost numbers and this may be due to the late packages and the bad weather in California. Some queens may not have been mated well and it is best to combine weak colonies to ensure winter survival.

All hives should be taking advantage of the nectar flows happening this month (and going forward) and nectar flows are indicated by the following: fresh white wax on comb and top bars, bees are easy to work, foundation is drawn out quickly, bees fanning at the entrance, large amounts of nectar ripening in the cells of honey supers.  With luck, you may be able to harvest an early crop!

The Beekeeper

Continue to watch your hives for late swarms; although most swarming behavior stops in late June, some hives may swarm late. Swarms that appear in July are, as the adage goes, "not worth a fly" as they may not have the time to build up enough strength and stores to survive the winter.

Keep an open eye for robbing wasps, hornets and other honey bees. During the summer there may be dearths periods of no nectar flow) that cause other honey bees to look for week hives to rob. A strong colony can usuallyContinue to watch your hives for late swarms; although most swarming behavior stops in late June, some hives may swarm late. Swarms that appear in July are, as the adage goes, "not worth a fly" as they may not have the time to build up enough strength and stores to survive the winter.

Make sure your hives have some shade or access to easy water so that they can cool the hive effectively. Too much heat can cause the bees to spend more time cooling the hive than gathering nectar to make honey. Add supers as needed to alleviate crowding and to encourage the bees to store more honey than they need.repel invasion by wasps and hornets but watch for signs of struggle, locate the offending nest and destroy it.