The honey flow is over, been a good run. This heat has finished off the canola and over the last few days most all of the alfalfa the bees have been gathering is now cut. Today was the first day I encountered that good old “fall time” robbing around the honey house. I’m always a bit sloppy around the honey house until that DAY of robbing makes me work a bit differently. Now that all the canola around the farm has passed, its time to move these yards away from the honey house yard!!! I have them scheduled to move this weekend and that will indeed take a lot of the bee pressure off the honey house. Its going to take us at least two or three weeks to have the yards stripped and extracted. There is a lot of honey to collect ahead of us!
This heat has been kind of a blessing. If these late crops had not finished as they did, I would of been pulling canola mid way into September trying to keep it out of the brood nest! This defiantly helps with my work load. Maybe in my new facility I could of handled that kind of volume, but in the facility I am working in now, pulling honey til the middle of September would of been an overload! I have the honey crop I wanted, all I have to do is collect it now. This heat has also been a blessing to our grain crops. The crop is now on its final stretch which helps manage our September frost concerns.
I have built a bunch of hive covers this winter that are going to be used to cover the honey supers while clearing bees during the robbing season. I have not noticed too much robbing as of yet but this past week I am seeing a hint of it around the honey house as the main flow ends it bloom. From now on I will be covering all the honey boxes during my pull. In previous years I used tape to cover my cracks but found the job a bit overwhelming as a lot of my boxes are in rough condition. Last year we had a terrible time with robbing as the honey flow ended at the beginning of August and the bees were so determined to find a way into the honey boxes we ended up having to switch to blowing bees on the last pull. These cover will allow me to use the escape boards right til the bitter end of the honey pull. It takes us 5 minutes to throw on the covers at the end of the yard.