Beekeeping Tips for August

  1. You should finish extracting honey by the first of August. August and fall flowers do not usually make good tasting honey. So, leave fall honey for the bees.
  2. Melt wax cappings from your extracting. You may freeze cappings for melting at a later date. Freezing should destroy any wax moth larvae that may be present. You can leave “wet” cappings exposed for foraging bees to clean before processing the wax. Donʼt attract wax moths by leaving cappings exposed for more than three days.
  3. Return “Wet” frames to the supers on the hives for the bees to clean.
  4. Store cleaned supers in a cool and dry area. Place a super on a newspaper and stack two (2) more supers on top of it. Cover the top super (the 3rd one) with an 8” square piece of paper (or a paper plate) and pour six (6) tablespoons of paradichlorobenzene (PDB) moth crystals (NOT MOTHBALLS) on it (PDB can be purchased at most hardware stores). You can also pour the moth crystals into a clean nylon (knee high) stocking, tie it closed, and place on top of every third super. Continue stacking supers and moth crystals in this manner. When finished stacking the supers, cover the very top super with a hive cover over the moth crystals and newspaper. Check the stack monthly to determine if more moth crystals are needed. Once the crystals have evaporated, the protection is gone. Keep the stack airtight. Allow supers to air out before returning them to your hives in the spring.
  5. August is the time to treat for varroa. You need strong brood to go through the winter. Examine hives for varroa using either sticky boards, powdered sugar method, or checking for the mites on drone larvae. If varroa are found, treat immediately. DO NOT use chemicals in the honey supers.
  6. Check the strength of each colony, as a weak colony can become a harbor for wax moths or small hive beetles (SHB). Combine colonies if there are weak ones.
  7. Keep the bee yard clean. Help prevent SHB by carrying a pail in which to put burr comb.
  8. Provide a good supply of water in this hot dry month. Keep hives well
    ventilated by adding an empty super above the brood box.
  9. If there are not at least two full frames of honey in the brood box, start feeding sugar water. Bees can starve in August.
  10. Consider re-queening in the fall as the queens are less expensive at that time.