Following one of my favorite beekeeping experts, Randy Oliver of Scientific Beekeeping we created a video demonstrating our experience one day checking drone brood.
July is normally a hot, dry month here in the Ozarks. The population in most hives has reached its peak and will slowly start to decline by the end of July because the main nectar flow is over. July and August see very little nectar coming into the hives. From what I’ve experienced, there is just enough nectar for them to maintain their reserves but not enough to gain significantly. (Although keeping a hive on a scale shows some very interesting ups and downs).
One of the most common pests in honey bee hives are sweet ants.
Most beekeepers see them under the cover and on top of the inner cover. Sometimes they are even under the tin on the cover. I have seen many beekeepers go a bit overboard trying to keep ants out of a hive. In our area of SW Missouri ants hold no threat to a colony of bees. Mostly they are just looking for a warm dry home and maybe an occasional bit of sweet food usually from the beekeeper. They do get into the hives on very weak hives but in most cases they are still not the problem or even a threat. The video below discusses the sweet ants in more detail and possible solutions like cinnamon.
It’s unusual to find open air hives in southwest Missouri, mainly because the winters just don’t allow them to survive. They are usually swarms that stop trying to find a home in a cavity or tree and just build right where they land. This year we have dealt with three of them, two under overhangs on building and this one in a tree.