Hop to it!

“Quit slackin’ and make stuff happen!” – Random Internet Quote I Identified With

Summer has been speeding by and, boy, has it been a busy one!  Trying to fit in all the activities one can handle to take advantage of the warmth and sunshine can lead other projects be neglected to the sidelines.  I will admit it right here

Let’s get cracking into a new post!

and now that I am guilty.  Amidst the summer chaos, my writing took a back seat.  My writing may have sidelined but not my bee work.  Time to make amends and get everyone up to speed on the progress with the hives!

Slow and steady…

                I’m quite impressed with the ladies and their progress, especially the work that’s getting done in my second hive, Queen Maude’s. Out of the two she is the only one that has a super, and to my delight it looks like I might be getting a honey harvest (albeit a very, very small one.)  Considering that I was told not to expect anything to harvest this year, I’m over the moon!

Beatrice’s hive may be a little slower, but they’re still hauling in the nectar!

                In Queen Beatrice’s hive, things are progressing more slowly.  I never put a super on Beatrice’s hive as they were taking their time to fill out frames in the upper brood box.  However, they are certainly not without progress.  Upon my last inspection I pulled out a beautiful frame plump full of honey.  It’s good to see they’re starting to make plans for winter stores.

Rounding out the summer…

                As much as I would like to pretend that the summer will stay I can’t put off the inevitable forever.  My busy summer bees foraging amongst the flowers will soon give way to the next generation, bees who will spend most of their time inside the hive keeping it warm throughout the winter months.  One of the things I can do now to help this next generation is give them a mite treatment so I can rest a little easier knowing they aren’t bogged down by hive freeloaders & disease during the cold months.

Hopping it up…

                According to my previous mite checks, my hives were not having a particularly significant mite infestation.  However, I don’t want what little mites I do have to get a strong footing in my hives during the winter months.  I’ve opted to treat so my winter bees will also hopefully have low mite counts.

                Temperatures for August in Minnesota can definitely get above 80° F, and I have a honey super on, so I chose to treat with HopGuard® II.  The directions say to use two strips per brood box.  With two brood boxes on each of my two hives, a packet of HopGuard II certainly covered the 8 strips I needed total.

Overall the application of the strips went fairly easy.  I ditched my goatskin gloves for nitrile ones and draped the application strip, one on each of the center frames, over the top bar.  I’ll keep the strips on for two weeks then remove.  Take that, nasty mites!

On the fence about what treatment to use?  Check out our educational post on picking the right varroa mite reatment for you and your bees.

7 thoughts on “Hop to it!

Leave a Reply to Larry Cancel reply

  1. Larry

    Congrats on your beginning successes! I’m in my 4th year of bee keeping. If you haven’t already, I suggest you check out Michael Bush’s website. Loads of practical information!

    1. Krista

      Hi Larry,

      Thank you for the kind words! I certainly will be looking into Michael Bush’s site and give it a try. Good luck in all your beekeeping endeavors!

  2. Derrick Meaghers

    I treated my two hives August 16th I was thinking of leaving him in a little longer than 2 weeks but yeah I’m basically in the same boat getting a jump-start healthy healthy hives come spring to go after the maple and the Blackberry Bloom when it hits

  3. Roger DuMond

    Your bees seem quite docile. I don’t see a single bee on you in any of the pictures. You might want to try working them with less of that cumbersome equipment on. I have been working 2 hives (now split into 4) for 5 months and after the first time working them fully covered, I went to using no protective equipment except for nitrile gloves for three weeks. I have been stung a total of 4 times and 3 of them was when I accidentally put a finger on a bee changing grips and two of those 3 were through nitrile gloves. I gave up even the nitrile gloves because they were no protection from stings and impeded my being able to feel the bees and avoid stings. The other sting was on the face, from a queenless split when I was adding the queen cage. It is so much easier to handle everything and better see what you are doing without all that equipment. Just my opinion, but you might want to try it.

    1. Krista

      Hi Roger,

      Thank you for your advice and for checking out the blog! I am pretty blessed with chill bees, that is true. I guess being new to beekeeping I felt that the more equipment I had on the better. At least until I had a better grasp on working the bees. I am looking forward to, in the future, working with less. I don’t know if I’d ever go veil-less, though. Baby steps!

  4. Chuck

    I have been beekeeping for 5years now I always wear the proper gear which
    An working with bees.I used hopguard this season as well i am in Oregon
    We get hot times July and August so I like being able to use hopguard more often when needed

  5. Jeff Woods

    All smoke you need and give a little time work slow .i use to work mine fast a little smoke know I work my bees slow there not bad but some days you should not work bees rain days wind early in the morning or late in the after the days when then bees out of there hive bring pollen and nectar in are better days.