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Month in the Hive – July

 

Summer is prime bee season! Michigan bees have been foraging on all the blossoming flowers and trees, including sumac, milkweed, basswood and clover, in order to create a robust nectar flow.

Now that we’re in July, West Michigan bees are busy making honey in their hives. For beekeepers, there isn’t a need to be constantly digging around in the hive unless you’re managing swarm prevention. Be patient if you see a swarm as they usually disband, often within about 15 minutes or an hour.

During July’s hot and humid days, you may notice bees resting outside of the hive. This is completely normal as this is their way of keeping cool.

Throughout the month of July, continue weekly hive inspections, looking for the queen, and checking on the overall health of the hive.

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Month in the Hive – June

It’s bee season! Right now, Michigan bees are foraging on all the blossoming flowers and trees, including sumac, milkweed, basswood and clover, creating a robust nectar flow throughout the month of June.

While bees are out foraging, you might see them swarming as well. We’ve had a few calls about how to handle a swarm. No need to be alarmed – just a little patience and the swarm will usually disband, sometimes within about 15 minutes or an hour.

So why do bees swarm anyway?

A swarm occurs when the reigning queen and about half the bees rush out of the hive entrance together, clustering on a tree limb or another similar object. Bees will continue swarming as they look for a new home. Once the bees have found a new location, the cluster breaks up and the bees fly to their new hive.

The bees that did not leave the hive continue their work in the colony, collecting nectar and pollen and building honey combs. Within the colony, a new queen emerges and looks for rival queens. A “fight-to-the-death” combat ensues until there is only one surviving queen. Once the new queen has mated, she begins to lay eggs and the cycle begins again.

A bee’s natural instinct is to swarm when we have good weather. Since we haven’t had much rain lately in West Michigan, we’re seeing a lot of swarms. Just bee-patient and they’ll naturally move along.

Happy Bee Season!

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Month in the Hive – July

 

Now that you have your bees and they have been pollinating the flowers and trees the past few months, it’s time to stand back and let them make that delicious honey!

July is honey-making month, so it’s a good time to let the bees be as they work their honey magic. You do, however, want to keep an eye out for any swarms during this time. When this happens, the reigning queen and about half the bees will rush out of the hive entrance together, clustering on a tree limb or another similar object. This is called swarming, and usually only lasts for an hour or so as the bees look for a new home. Once the bees have found a new location, the cluster breaks up and the bees fly to their new hive.

The bees that did not leave the hive continue their work in the colony, collecting nectar and pollen and building honey combs. Within the colony, a new queen emerges and looks for rival queens. A fight-to-the-death combat ensues until there is only one surviving queen. Once the new queen has mated, she begins to lay eggs and the cycle begins again.

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Beeswax Fire Starters

Camping is the perfect time to relax and unwind, until the nerve-wracking task of starting a fire comes up! Don’t worry about how long it will take you to get a fire started when you’ve got this DIY natural fire starter craft. Ease your mind and expedite the fire-starting process with these nifty fire starters made with our very own GLBC Beeswax.

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Strawberry Honey Lemonade

August in Michigan is HOT! If you’re looking for a way to cool down, look no further than this Strawberry Honey Lemonade recipe. It’s the perfect combination of sour and sweet! So delicious, so refreshing. This recipe is bound to become a staple of your summer and your family’s new favorite refreshment. Sweetened with our natural, local honey, it’s is healthier than other lemonades that contain processed sugars. This recipe will provide your body energy rather than a sugar crash. Whip this up on a sunny Friday afternoon and enjoy all weekend long.

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DIY Bee Bath: Hydration Station for Bees

Do you want to make sure your garden is blooming to its max capacity this season? Ensure your flora are all being pollinated by creating an environment where bees want to and CAN visit while on their journey for nectar. It takes more than just flowers to draw bees in. You need to give them a reason to stay and linger long enough so they don’t overlook your many flowers. Having flowers and nectar for bees to consume is essential to attracting them, but an often overlooked necessity for bees is water.

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