JULY 2021 – Or as one of my favorite Santana songs…… It’s A HOT ONE….Like seven inches from the mid-day sun!!
And the Bees feel it too, even though they keep the Queen at 90+ degrees at all times, the heat and lack of forage can make them VERY BITCHY!!!
If you are a Beekeeper, this sight in your apiary is all too familiar
The technical term for this is “Bearding” We beekeepers like to say, “My Bees are hanging out on the front porch”!
Bearding is a normal part of beekeeping. I have had so many new beekeepers think that their bees are swarming when they see this. No, not swarming…..just hot!
Yes, it is because there is not A/C in a bee hive, other than the bees form of swamp cooler. Bees need LOTS of water this time of year. They collect water and bring it back to the hive. Then they fan their wings over the water to produce a swamp cooler affect. I have several places where my bees can collect water. This is a VERY IMPORTANT bit of information in the summer time.
The bees will be irritated during the hot of summer. It is not only hot, but the flow of nectars have slowed considerably and in many area, there is no forage for them. (Forage = Food) This also makes them irritated and pre-occupied. A honey bee is always happier when busy. Less forage means nothing to do and it may slow down or stop the queens production of new bees. If honey bees do not have food stores, they will not make new bees that they cannot feed.
This impacts the making of “Winter” bees, which are laid in mid to late summer, and are so very necessary for the survival of the colony during the cold winter months. More bees means a better chance that the colony will survive through the winter.
The month of July is almost over and I have already seen Golden Rod blooming. That is a SURE sign that Fall is coming.
My bees probably have more to eat than most. I have been planting for over 20 years on my property for my bees. I try to have a least one thing that my bees can forage on during the dearth. This also means succession planting. A perennial or tree that blooms will maybe only bloom for 2 weeks. This means that you must have something else that takes its place and blooms for the next 2 weeks and the next 2 weeks. Once the Golden Rod starts, the different varieties can bloom a span of a couple of months. There are over 100 different varieties of Golden Rod. I have about 3-4 different varieties growing in my area.
August is up next!! Keep those bees happy with forage and plenty of water.
Until next month…