Summer Dearth

Highlighting: Seasonal Beekeeping Advice

Date(s) - 07/01/2019 - 09/30/2019
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Signs of the Season

  • Daytime temperatures above 95°F
  • Sparse flower bloom
  • Low rainfall

Activity in the Hive

  • Brood-rearing declines
  • Bee population declines
  • Varroa population peaks
  • Nurse bees that rear the winter bees are produced
  • Nectar and honey stores decline

Beekeeper’s Checklist

☐ Monitor honey stores; minimum 10 frames per hive
☐ Aggressively feed sugar water if inadequate honey stores
☐ Inspect hives regularly and take quick action to fix problems
☐ Monitor pollen stores; minimum 2 frames per hive
☐ Ensure bees have a nearby, constant water source
☐ Feed pollen patties if inadequate pollen stores
☐ Split hives; final opportunity
☐ Test all hives for varroa monthly and treat as necessary
☐ Replace failing queens; final opportunity for mating

Potential Problems

  • Harvested too much honey – need to feed sugar water
  • Weak hive – combine with a strong hive
  • Failing queen – source new queen or combine with a strong hive


  • How will I keep varroa levels low now?
  • Is the hive strong enough to keep wax moths and hive beetles in check?
  • Did I make the right/enough enough splits to help control swarming?
  • What do I need to learn to be a better beekeeper next year?


Credit: THBEA NewBee Brochure 2018