We are well along with the 2011 honey harvest, and treatments for varroa mites are underway. The honey yield is nothing amazing, but not real disappointing either. Honey prospects looked great at the end of May. June, however, proved to be cooler and wetter than honeybees tend to like when it comes to gathering honey in Iowa. July had a few banner weeks, but August has not seen much activity. Now it’s time to strip the boxes and deal with the parasite load in order to get our bees through winter. I’ll discuss our experience with a couple of the new medications in a future post. For present, Apiguard continues to work, and HopGuard looks promising. We’ve already witnessed the failure of Apistan and CheckMite as mites developed resistance, so it’s good to see Apiguard continuing to be effective.
Luckily, we produced a record number of cut comb sections despite a rather ‘fair’ harvest that will average under 100 lbs./hive.
Here is an image from just before we pulled out of one of our southern yards with the honey boxes on-board: