As we approach the end of summer things have been abuzz in the foothills above IBG! When I last left you I mentioned relocating a swarm that was trapped in the foothills to IBG. They have been added and it has a beautiful queen (pictured above). For now we are keeping them in a small 5 frame nucleus (nuc) hive until September when I will use it to replace one of queens in the other hives.
Fall is a good time to replace a underperforming or mean queen. Queen temperament is a genetic marker for honey bees. When you have a mean or aggressive hive if you replace the queen the temperament of the whole hive will change. Hives 2 and 3 at IBG will both have their queens replaced this Fall heading into winter.
In July we also harvested about sixty pounds of honey that is currently being sold in the IBG gift shop. It tastes amazing! Stop by and get some before it sells out. I hear in just a few days over 15% of the inventory sold already!
A key to successful beekeeping is thinking three months in advance. This mindset will help you avoid issues in the future. With that said in August I have started treating the hives with crystallized thyme extract because the mite loads were a little higher than we would like to see for this time of year. One of the hives had a tested a 6% mite load so we treated all the hives with crystallized thyme extract (Apigaurd) once all honey was removed. Soon I will start to feed the bees pollen and sugar to get them fat going into winter. These fat healthy bees will have a greater chance surviving winter and start to boom early spring for next years honey flow!
As always feel free to reach out to me with any questions!