How to Keep Your Honey Bees Healthy This Summer
If you keep your own beehives, you know how important it is to keep your honey bees safe and happy throughout the warmest months of the year. A successful summer can lead to a rich crop of golden honey at the end of the season, but summer can also prove dangerous for honey bees. From overheated hives to attacks from varroa mites and honey thieves, it takes some work to protect your bees throughout the summer. To help you through the season, here’s our guide on how to keep your honey bees healthy this summer.
A Hydrated Hive Is a Happy Hive
Like all creatures, honey bees need a safe and clean water source. When the weather gets hot, worker bees will collect water and bring it back to the hive where they can use it for evaporative cooling. Unfortunately, your bees aren’t going to collect from any old water source lying around. They need a shallow pool that has plenty of safe space for them to land. A shallow dish or birdbath works well, especially if you add rocks or twigs to give bees a safe landing space. Be sure to check your water source regularly to make sure your bees are visiting it.
Let the Air Flow
If a beehive overheats, the beeswax comb inside could melt, ruining both your honey crop and your bees’ winter food supply. To prevent this, give your hives enough ventilation this summer. Make sure air can flow through the hive by using screen boards and creating a top entrance. Just be careful while you’re creating ventilation. Too many entrances can make it easy for predators and honey robbers to enter the hive.
Inspect Regularly and Stay Alert
If you want to know how to keep your honey bees healthy this summer, you need to perform regular hive inspections.
During these inspections, keep an eye out for varroa mites with sampling and other beehive pests. You should also check in on your queen to make sure she’s still laying productively. By heading out and checking up on your bees regularly, you can catch and address issues as quickly as possible, saving yourself and your bees a lot of trouble in the long run.