Today is Thursday, July 15th and the honey flow is over. It’s actually been over for a couple weeks.
I’m getting a lot of calls or messages about adding a honey super now. The simple answer to this question is no.
The more detailed answer is, there is no need to add a honey super when you have no excess honey coming in for the bees to fill it.
I started a hive in May while all my customers did. I do this every year so I can see for myself how fast/slow the bees are growing in a particular year.
We had an incredibly low and slow honey season this year. At least I did in my part of Missouri. Nothing compared to what I saw last year.
In my hive, I am happy to report both deeps are full of brood, eggs, and honey. That is the goal of any new hive. Remember when I said that honey in your first year is a blessing?
Adding a super now will only create more empty space in a hive and give the bees that extra space to protect, especially from hive beetles.
As the honey flow stops, we start something called dearth. This is a scarcity or lack of nectar sources. The bees will start eating their stores now. This is nothing to be alarmed over, just make sure you are monitoring the honey that’s stored away. If it gets low, feed your bees!
We may get a fall flow. It’s hard to tell right now if we will, but if we do, that will be the time to put a honey super back on. Only do this though if your bees have enough food in their 2 deeps.
The bees winter food, their 60 pounds, is the most important thing for the beehive. Your friends and family can wait until next year to get some honey! I know they are asking, haha!!
The next thing you need to focus on is mite treatment. If you have any questions about this, please consider taking my First Year Beekeeping class. I explain mite treatment, along with Fall maintenance and winter preparation.
Hope you all are staying cool and enjoying your new bees!