Time to remove any crop for extracting (remembering to leave plenty for the bees) and consider any treatments (if done). As wasps become a pest it can help the bees by reducing entrances (or fitting mouse guards early) to help prevent robbing. Weekly inspections should continue to monitor health and ensure space for any late flow; along with ensuring colonies are queen right for the winter ahead! Feed needs to be sorted ready to administer (when treatments are complete) and making sure that hives are weather proof.
Having said how dry it was and needing rain, my call has certainly been answered! The season seems to be almost extremes of very hot and dry then very wet with no nice balance. That said there may be a flow of nectar though only time will tell.
The highlight of the last month has been extracting a colony which had swarmed into a post box set into a wall. A first for me! I am pleased to find that I have managed to successfully remove the bees with their queen and several combs of brood. They are now building nicely in a nucleus hive and should soon move into a full hive.
I find it hard to believe but with colonies now at their peak in numbers, the season is on the wane!
Weekly inspections need to continue but the swarm impulse should diminish; though do ensure plenty of space for any nectar flow over the coming months. Any artificial swarms should be monitored for build up and colonies with raised queens should be watched to ensure the queen is properly mated.
The way this season has gone there could be a sudden flow, requiring empty supers for space; or a sudden dearth meaning feed may be required. It is not too early either to start thinking of feed and treatments ready for autumn and dare I say winter ahead!!
The effect of Covid 19 means this year is different. However the hot dry Spring also brings a different challenge. If this weather continues the nectar will dry up and this could be detrimental to the bees. So not wishing to be a kill joy but we need some rain as we go into Summer!!
The season is in full swing now. Weekly inspections should be the norm; ensuring any signs of swarming can be dealt with to avoid nuisance to the public. Allow plenty of space (so put supers on early to cater for any flow). If you have Rapeseed Oil near your hives then extract the honey so soon as the flowers fade in the field to prevent it setting solid in the comb. Health and build up should be monitored and that queens are laying normally.