A Beekeeper’s Year in WNC: July

A Beekeeper’s Year in WNC: July

It's almost July - hot, humid, and full of blooms! The sourwood is flowering and you should make sure you are ready with supers, as well as harvesting and bottling equipment. Mite checks are on the to-do list, too.

It’s such a busy time of year, and it’s been rather mild here in the mountains of western North Carolina. This spring has been full of swarms and very active hives, which is a great sign for the health of the honeybees. We’re seeing a lot of folks coming in to get more frames and boxes ready for the sourwood flow, as well as stocking up on bottling supplies. It is time for the spring honey harvest and the summer honey flow! 


Now that the solstice has passed, prepare for the rest of July and early August with these tips and tricks:


* Sourwood is blooming! So are the sumac, clovers, garden veggies, summer annuals, and wildflowers of all kinds. 


* Extract your spring honey to guarantee you have enough supers for the sourwood. We rent extractors, so if you need one, call the store:


* Prepare your supers for the sourwood flow. Have extra supers ready to add as needed, usually when the super below it is almost full of honey. 


* Plan to treat for varroa mites after the sourwood flow ends. Purchase your preferred treatment beforehand so you are ready to test and treat.


* If you plan to do splits, do them as soon as the sourwood flow ends around late July or early August. 


* Leave each hive at least one super full of honey to help them get through the winter. 


* Continue to do mite checks through July and early August.


* Towards late July, you can harvest your sourwood supers. Make sure that the honeycomb is capped so you know it is ready. If you harvest uncapped frames, dry them for 24-48 hours with a dehumidifier. Ensure that the moisture content is below 18.1% by testing with a refractometer.


How are things looking in your bee yard? Let us know if you have any questions or concerns and we’ll do our best to help. Don’t forget to check our upcoming classes page so you don’t miss a chance to do more learning!


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