Considering this is still June, it’s REALLY hot here!!  August weather, to say the least!  This morning, at 5:00 A.M., the temperature was still 87 degrees.  Yesterday, at the same time, the temperature was 77 degrees.  Way too hot to do much with the bees unless I’m out there at first full light, around 6:00 A.M.

That’s pretty much what I’m doing right now.  Yesterday morning, around 6:00 A.M., I installed a pollen trap on Colony A.  I started Colony A from a nuc just 6 weeks ago today and they are now at full strength, thanks to supplementary feeding and I believe, the use of essential oils in that feeding.  Two strong, full deep brood chambers.  Loads of pollen coming in every day, so I decided to start trapping some for my wife to try with her pollen allergies.  I’ll just trap one day out of every three days right now, so the bees can keep the majority of pollen for their needs.  Strong nectar flow still going, thanks to rather high humidity and scattered thundershowers, so I’m also taking a chance on trying to get some comb honey.  I put a queen excluder on top of the brood chambers and a shallow cut comb honey super box.  I’ll hope the thundershowers continue so the nectar flow continues as well and see if I can’t pull one shallow super of comb honey.  I’m not real sure about the success of this effort, but it’s worth a try!

Colony B and C, both started from 3 pound packages of bees are still hanging in there.  They aren’t foraging a lot, but have plenty of supplemental feeding of sugar syrup and essential oils, so they are drawing comb and look good.  I’m continuing that feeding effort and will do so as long as necessary to help them build up to overwinter.  Right now, they are about as weak as they will get, since no new bees have been emerging yet.  This Thursday will be 21 days since the bees were put into the hives and the queens were released.  So, if all has gone well, young new bees should start emerging and getting to work by Thursday.  The colony populations should begin growing with new bees to take over housekeeping chores, freeing up older bees to do more foraging.  I expect to see noticeable improvement in activity within the next 10 days.  I’ll just continue to feed and medicate as long as necessary, trying to help them overwinter successfully.  No pollen trapping nor honey collecting from them this season.  If all goes well, they should be ready to start producing next Spring!

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