“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden”
― Elizabeth Lawrence
If you haven’t already harvested honey, it’s time to remove the surplus, not forgetting to thank your bees for their hard work, making sure they have enough food store so that your queen is able to continue laying eggs.
As honey bees’ colonies decline from mid-summer, bees work even harder to bring in food to store for the winter months. Now is the perfect time to plant some late summer flowering perennials that will keep bees going into the autumn and ready for a long winter.
Jobs To Do This Month
- Get prepared with your uncapping tray, extractor, bottling tank, food grade buckets, jars and labels to process this year’s crop.
- Take supers with honey off the hive when the honey flow is over.
- Remove the queen excluder.
- Check the beehive for the queen and all stages of brood. Now may be a good time to re-queen your colony if your queen is maturing, under producing brood or the colony is aggressive. This will allow your new queen to produce a healthy winter workers and help prevent swarming next season.
- Make sure your bees are left with enough food store to ensure your queen is able to continue laying eggs. This should be 5 to 7 kg of honey, the equivalent of 3 British Standard brood frames of store. If your bees have insufficient stores, give them a portion of Ambrosia bee syrup to replenish.
- Continue adding small portions of syrup every few days to stimulate your colony giving them strength to over winter. If in your area there are not many flowering plant which supply your bees in pollen, try adding Apimix. An inverted syrup with added nutrients and pollen supplement.
- It is very important to start varroa treatment as soon as the supers are removed for harvesting honey. Check the number of varroa in you hive with our new CO2 Varroa checker.
- Add entrance block or slides to your hive to help protect against robbing bees, wasps and hornets.
- Wasps are the gardener’s friend, helping to reducing the number of pests. However, come August when the queen wasp has stopped laying the wasps become a nuisance to our beehives and our picnics! Try our new Wasp Away fake wasp nest as a deterrent in your apiary.
Plant Of The Month – Sedum Sunsparkler Dazzle Berry
Extend your summer garden into the autumn and keep the bees happy too!
Once again our Plant Of The Month is a Sedum, just proving its popularity amongst bees and gardeners alike. This month however we look at a more colourful variety that will bloom from mid-summer and well into autumn. Sedums are easy to grow and maintain and look stunning at the front of a border. Honey bees can easily access their flowers, especially ones with relatively short tongues, and butterflies and queen bumble bees will flock to the scene to fatten themselves up for the winter.
Sedum Sunsparkler Dazzle Berry is part of a new range (recently bred in America) of low growing and spreading sedums with interesting foliage and knockout flower power. The glorious deep pink flowers of Dazzle Berry complement the light grey foliage producing a lovely mound of colour from mid-summer.
Provided as large 2 litre potted plants they will provide instant impact to beds, borders and containers and will provide that vital bit of colour when many other things in the garden are starting to fade.
Cut Comb Goodness
If you haven’t tried it yet, cut comb honey is the easiest most delicious way (in our opinion) to enjoy your sweet harvest. Cut comb honey makes a wonderful gift and is great for selling at your gate or the local market.
Harvesting your cut comb:
- When removing your cut comb frame for extraction, ensure that all of the usable cells are sealed.
- Use a sharp knife to cut round the inside edge of the frame to remove the wax and honey.
- Select your container. The most popular size is an 8oz (227g) tub with clear lid.
- All cut comb portions will need to be cut to fit your container. This can be done by creating a template to cut round or purchase an 8oz cut comb cutter.
- You will be left with offcuts from the edges. Sealed offcuts can be used for chunk honey. Place small chunks into a jar and top off with honey. Unsealed off cuts can be saved and made into mead or filtered through nylon mesh to eat.
For full information on how to make cut comb, prepare soft set honey and more, the BBKA have produced a brand new News Special Edition on everything you need to know about honey!
“Pure” Cut Comb Wax
Earlier this year we were excited to announce that we were producing cut-comb foundation for the first time. In keeping with our ethos of providing the very best quality products we decided that we had to seek out the “purest” possible wax for our edible cut comb!
With bees sometimes flying several miles from the hive in search of nectar, it’s hard to guarantee that any wax or honey is organic. To source any significant volume of pure wax, we decided to look in areas of the world with traditional agriculture that doesn’t rely on pesticides or herbicides. We found a supply of wax from rural Ethiopia and the good news was that when tested, the assays came back showing zero contaminants and adulterants. Once we melt it down and sterilise it (using the same process pictured opposite) to remove the risk of any pathogens, we are happy that we are left with the purest wax that we can provide – perfect for cut-comb wax foundation!
Click here, to find out more!
Offer of the Month
Take advantage of our Summer Promotion on our new 50kg Tank with a conical base, stand and filter at 20% discount. In addition, we will give you a Honey Bucket Scraper free of Charge.