Bee yard 8/30/11
Here it is the end of August and it is hot in North Florida. Surprisingly, bees are doing pretty well. There is little forage available right now. We have been feeding a pollen supplement for several weeks and this is helping to keep the queen laying. We treated for mites earlier in the month and most hives have low mite counts. This has been a bad year for Small Hive Beetles and we are proactive in our response. At the first sign of things getting out of hand we clean out the hive and go with new frames or shake the bees onto another stronger hive. Thankfully, we have not too many issues with queenlessness as this is a rough problem to deal with in August. I am not seeing enough drones to justify raising my own queens, it is too hot to have good shipping success, and it is difficult to get good acceptance under these conditions.
We are about 5 inches below normal rainfall for August and 20 inches short for the year. Temperature has been hovering around 100 for last several days. Fortunately the humidity is not too bad. With the high temperature and low rainfall there is not much blooming. I made a trip up to Moultrie, Ga. last Friday and the cotton looked parched in the field. But on the bright side, we are not too far away from the fall flowers and the bees will find plenty to make them happy.