August Newsletter

Hello beekeepers, welcome to our newsletter for the month of August. 

We hope you’ve had a buzzy and productive July, especially with the spell of good weather we had recently! One of our customers, Malcolm le Fevre, sent us in a pic of his blossoming Bee Meadow flowerbed – made from his old beehive boxes which have been colorfully painted. It’s great to see our Bee Meadow flowers growing, and the clever recycling of the hive boxes. Thanks for sharing Malcolm! If you’ve any pictures of your flowers or hives you’d like to share with us please email them to enquiries@donegalbees.ie or tag us on Facebook/Instagram, we’d love to see them!

Just a reminder if you haven't gotten a copy of our free 2022 catalogue yet, you can email us or give us a call to get one posted to you. You can also fill out the form on our homepage under the Get Posted button. Alternatively, you can download a PDF copy HERE as well. Please bear in mind that due to the current unstable economic climate, some prices may vary during the year but as always, the most up to date prices will be on our website. 

This month we ran a giveaway for a National Polystyrene Hive Pack – worth €220 - to anyone who placed an order with us during the week of 15th-22nd. The lucky winner was Brian Dane! Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media and website for announcements of more competitions and giveaways such as this in the future. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram

We were at the Maynooth Summer School this past weekend (29th & 30th July) in Maynooth University Campus, Co. Kildare. The Maynooth Summer School is hosted by FIBKA every year, and this year marked the first return since the pandemic. It was great to see it back in action, and we had a very busy 2 days! Thanks to everyone who paid us a visit.  

  • Remove the supers and extract them.
  • Feed your colonies if they have no food reserves in the brood box.
  • Don’t leave frames or honey out in the open.
  • Make hives bee-tight and reduce entrances to prevent robbing.
  • Don’t open a colony unless absolutely necessary.
  • Start appropriate varroa treatment and apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep a watch for wasps around the hives.

Courtesy of the Haynes Bee Manual

The beekeeper’s calendar is directly linked to the seasons. Preparing your hives for changes in temperature and shifts in the weather — before they happen — is crucial for raising healthy, strong colonies. While there are a few variables that affect the timing of these tasks, getting a head start and preparing your equipment is always a good idea.

As the season starts to slow in August, it’s important to continue weekly checks on your hives. This includes looking for robbers, identifying the queen and checking for diseases and pests. During the months of August and September on the beekeeper’s calendar, colonies do the important work of building up populations to prepare for the winter, and it’s a good time for you to begin winter preparations, too.

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The bees are busy filling up their pantry for the winter. The bees gather a lot of late bloom pollen, they produce a lot of honey, and the beekeeper will notice a lot more activity outside of the hive. Beekeepers can identify if the colony is thriving by doing frequent external observations. When observing the exterior of your hive, look for signs of tampering; robbers and intruders can put the bees on the defensive... But know that the bees are just being bees.

The colony’s growth is diminishing in numbers and the honey flow is coming to an end. When bees stop producing honey, remove all honey supers - except for one! Remember to leave one full super of honey for the bees. This is what they will live on during the winter. 

No more chance of swarming and the honey dearth will appear. Weaker colonies may get robbed of their honey so entrance reducers should be placed on weak colonies or move weak colonies to another bee yard. 

The varroa mite levels are high now and an evaluation of mite levels should be maintained during this time of year. If you determine mite levels are too high, a varroa management practice should be added to your list of beekeeping chores. A good product for varroa mite treatment is Formic Pro. 

Some colonies may need food and some small clusters may need additional frames of brood to increase bee numbers. Check for failing queens and re-queen.

August Tips 

  • Remove honey 
  • Remove empty supers 
  • Check for mites (medicate if needed) 
  • Feed weak colonies (pollen & syrup) 
  • Re-Queen bad queens 
  • Equalize colonies 
  • Order more queens

The honey for harvesting and the queen excluder should be taken off in early August allowing the bees to collect what little remains for themselves and start treating your colonies for varroa.  Early August insert entrance block to reduce entrances so the diminishing colony can defend against wasps.

TIP: Joining a local beekeeping association or club is the best way to learn about the particulars of beekeeping for your region. It’s one of the first things we suggest to anyone looking to become a beekeeper. 

Federation of Irish Beekeepers Association - https://irishbeekeeping.ie/

​Irish Beekeepers Association CLG - https://www.irishbeekeepersassociation.com/

Native Irish Honey Bee Society - https://nihbs.org/

Essential Equipment:

  • Protective Clothing, Smoker, Hive Tools. 
  • Record Book. 
  • Spare Supers with Frames and Foundation. 
  • Bee Escapes for clearing Supers. 
  • Bee Brush. 
  • Varroa treatment. 
  • Entrance Blocks. 
  • Wasp traps. 
  • Feed.

Our Basic Kit includes a beesuit, gloves, smoker, hive tool and a bee brush. €115 

We're proud to announce that we are the official Irish stockists of FormicPro - your new tool to combat varroa! 

  • Choose to Protect Your Colonies Sustainably 
  •  ZERO-DAY HONEY WITHDRAWAL 
  •  HIGH EFFICACY: KILLS MITES UNDER THE BROOD CAP 
  •  BIODEGRADABLE 
  •  QUICK TREATMENT 
  •  ALL-NATURAL INGREDIENTS 
  •  READY TO USE STRIPS (NO MIXING!) 
  •  UNDER THE CAP TREATMENT - Target varroa mites under the brood cap, where they reproduce. 
  •  NO RESISTANCE - Formic acid has been used for over 30 years without any known resistance.

Coming soon to Donegal Bees!

Lastly, thank you for keeping bees! Let us know if you have any questions regarding your hive, we’re always happy to help. 

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1 comment

  • Great reading it my first year in bee keeping hoping to get my bees trough the winter ok Can you let me know when you get the Formica pro I would be interested in getting it it sounds like a good product tanks again Brendan 🐝👍💐

    Brendan carroll

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