NECTAR FLOW & SWARM SEASON The Black Locust nectar flow is done in our area and with that so is the peak of swarm season. Hopefully you were able to retain your original queen without her swarming this past month. Though the peak of swarm season is behind us, it's still important to inspect your hives every seven days this month just to make sure you can respond to a swarm impulse prior to your queen and half of your hive leaving. When inspecting, If you see open queen cells, (photo below) you will have to decide at the time if you are going to make a split or destroy the cells. Make ABSOLUTELY sure your queen is present prior to conducting a split or destroying queen cells. If you find capped queen cells, it's highly likely the queen has swarmed.
FIRST MITE TREATMENT Unusually cool temperatures will arrive in our area during a four day period starting May 11th. This is an optimum time to conduct your first mite treatment if you plan to use Apivar or Mite Away Quick Strips. Both treatments should not be used when temperatures are above 85F during the first three days of the application. Utilize these cool days to keep the mite loads in your hives in check. Take care of your girls. EXCESSIVE HEAT I have no doubt that we will see record high temperatures this summer. Extremely hot days can kill brood and strain your hives One way to tell if you hive is struggling with the excessive heat is if they are bearding outside the hive as the photo below illustrates. When temperatures rise above 95F consider offsetting your hive covers to provide additional cross ventilation .
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