July Colony Management
1. Measure Mites: do an alcohol wash or a sugar shake at least once this month to see what your mite levels are. Any colony with a mite level greater than 3% should be treated.
2. Kill Mites: Treat your hives for Varroa on July 15th! Most effective options include Apivar, MAQS, or Formic Pro. Can also use oxalic vapor every 5 days x 5 treatments.
3. Make Splits: start a new nucleus colony. Give a 5 frame box: 2 frames of nectar/pollen, 2 frames of capped brood, one from of eggs and larvae, and a CCBA local queen cell or mated queen. These will be your overwinter nucs to ensure that you don't need to buy bees next spring.
4. Prevent Robbing: feed only in the evenings. Keep entrance reducers on small colonies. Minimize prolonged inspections during the day.
5. Share: Don't forget to give some honey to your neighbors, friends, and family. Spread the sweetness of being a beekeeper.
Apprentice and Mentoring Programs
One of the best ways to learn how best to keep your bees alive is to work with someone who has done it over many seasons. The CCBA has 2 programs that are available to help you achieve sustainability.
The Apprentice Program
If you are a new beekeeper who is thinking about getting bees or who has not been able to overwinter a hive, the apprentice program maybe right for you. You will be paired up with an experienced beekeeper (teacher) who you will work with at the teacher's apiary twice a month for an entire bee season. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the apprentice will get a CCBA nuc the following spring. The cost for this program is $120.
The Mentoring Program
If you are looking for some intermittent advice from an experienced beekeeper, the mentoring program maybe right for you. Have someone who will answer your questions or may stop out at your apiary to see what is going on. This program does not have a cost and there is no incentives from the CCBA for participation.
Walt and Kathy are the leads of both the apprentice and the mentoring program. If you are interested in being either an apprentice or teacher in the apprentice program or mentor or mentee in the mentoring program.
Email Walt Talunas: firstname.lastname@example.org