August in Florida continues to remain very hot with continued afternoon thunderstorms. You will want to inspect your hives after the girls are flying and before the heat of the day.
So what should Florida beekeepers be doing in August?
First and foremost, all regions in Florida should continue monitoring their varroa mite levels and apply treatment for them accordingly.
We recommend taking a sample of your bees, targeting approximately 200 – 300 bees per sample size, if your apiary has multiple hives, you will want to sample about 10% of the apiary to best determine your mite levels throughout your apiary. This sample size can be easily taken using the Varroa Easy Check tool. The ratio of mites to bees which should trigger your treatment application is 3 mites per 100 bees. If you reach or surpass this level you should treat your colonies immediately to help prevent colony collapse.
Small Hive Beetle populations also tend to peak in the late summer, all regions of Florida should continue trapping the adult Small Hive Beetle; Beetle Blasters, Re-useable Oil Traps and Beetle towels are all good traps to use inside your hives. If you are using Solid Bottom Boards the Guardian Beetle entrance will help the guard bees defend their hive entrance from these pesky invaders.
Honey Flow Preparation
Central and South Florida regions, if you make it through the month without taking a direct hit by a major tropical storm or hurricane, you can expect the Brazilian Pepper & Golden Rain Tree honey flow to begin as early as late August, though, September will be the main days of the honey flow. You will want to have your equipment prepped ready to go. Make sure your old boxes have been mended and re-painted, cut comb honey frames will need new foundation, and your stored drawn comb frames should be aired out, scraped and cleaned. The honey flow is fast and intense so don’t forget to deploy a few Swarm Traps just in case you miss a swarm. Honey Bees like to throw reproduction swarms this time of year, better to be well prepared than caught off guard with your bees 20′ up a tree.
What’s in Bloom?
North & Central Florida: Mangrove, Cotton, Goldenrod, Loblolly Bay, Mexican & Sandhill Prairie Clover, Spanish Needle, Spotted Mint, and Sumac
South Florida: Mexican Clover, Palm, Primrose Willow, Spanish Needle, Brazillian Pepper may begin to open.