Mentoring, Teaching, Summer Solstice

I am so very please with my Bee Club here in Union County, NC. It has really blossomed into a wonderful teaching program to help new beekeepers learn.

One of the Board Members has come up with a grand idea! He divided the county into sections and everyone in that section goes to one Mentor’s house to help and learn. I am so grateful for this as having help in the bee yard is so welcome. We had our first gathering and moved a colony from a swarm box (which had been there far too long) into a hive box. The bees had build extra comb at the bottom of the box, so having extra hands to help situate the comb, was a God send!!!

I look forward to our next gathering when we will be harvesting some honey!!

Again, the help is much appreciated due to the weight of those honey supers.

Frame Taken From Swarm Box

SUMMER IS HERE!!!!

Once we hit that Summer Solstice, a Beekeeper knows that the Bees become very busy getting ready for winter. Yes, us humans are just getting our stride into Summertime, but the Bees know that it is their time to fill the hive with food in order to eat during the winter. I guess that I do the same, as I can and freeze many of the summer vegetables for my winter storage.

This switch in weather and amount of daylight hours, tells the Bees – Get Ready, and it also makes them a little testy!! I was just near the hives yesterday and one of the girls got her panties in a wad and would not leave me alone. During spring, I could walk all around the hives with no issue, but once that Solstice date hits, the bees become agitated. She got tangled up in my hair and finally stung me in the head. I guess that was my headache treatment for the month!

Many plants bloom in the months of June & July. The spring flow is over, so the bees do not have as much to forage, but my forage beds are getting bigger and bigger every year. The bees must work much harder to bring in even half of what they bring in during Spring flow. This is what makes them irritated. That and getting pretty hot in the hive!

This also makes it necessary for, me the beekeeper, to be very judicious about how much honey I take. Taking more than I should leaves the bees with no food while going through a less abundant time. Kind of like us and the empty grocery store shelves right now!!

There is a technique that I use in how much to leave for the bees. I will get into that in the post next month, as I blog about “Harvesting Honey”. The great thing about it is that honey never spoils, so if I leave more than the bees will actually eat through the winter, I can always take it later as it never goes bad! If I do not leave enough, my bees might starve!!!

ALWAYS – ALWAYS – MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BEES HAVE WATER!! The bees will cool the hive with that water. Like a swamp cooler.

So here’s wishing you a wonderful Summer!! Stay cool

I’ll be back next month with my Honey Harvesting adventures.

Namaste’

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