The first part of August was very wet - for almost two weeks - and that slowed the start of the normal spring build up. Luckily we were able to get to all our hives despite the wet weather and hives have been checked for diseases, bottom boards cleaned, fed where required, and varroa strips removed. The bees needed lots of attention to get them through this period.
Thankfully the weather has improved and the bees are now busy flying, collecting pollen and early spring sources of nectar. Pollen traps have been installed on the strong hives at Horsham Downs and we are now seeing good quantities of bee pollen coming in. Drone bees are now present in the hives and we have started raising queen cells in order to build up hive numbers and recover from losses over winter.We have also undertaken checks of all the hives to ensure that the varroa treatments worked - essential now there is resistance to a number of varroa treatments. Our hives at Marokopa had significant levels of varroa despite being treated in late Autumn and so we applied an alternative treatment which has worked really well.
Next steps will be to continue to monitor the buildup of the hives, create more new hives by raising queen cells and shifting hives out to site.