July Newsletter

Hello beekeepers, welcome to our July newsletter! We’ll start off with the latest updates from here at Donegal Bees.

Have you ordered our 2022 catalogue? If you’d like a free copy posted to you, please email us at enquiries@donegalbees.ie or give us a ring at 0749710140. 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. 

With beekeeping shows and events up and running again all around the country, we have been on the road visiting and delivering information and orders to our valued customers. We visited 3 events in the month of June – The Offaly Beekeeping Event and the NIHBS event, both in Tullamore, and the NIHBS Open Day in Naas, Co. Kildare. 

Orders can be collected from any event that we will be attending, and we also offer our wax exchange service. If you wish to avail of these on the day, be sure to let us know in advance so we can arrange to have your order packed and have sufficient wax with us to avoid disappointment. Keep an eye on our social media for any events we will be attending. 

Our next visit will be in Maynooth on 29th & 30th of July – more info will be available closer to the time. 

  • July is still the main honey month for most beekeepers, with the lime and clover coming into flower. 
  • Estimate how much honey you have in your supers. 
  • When the bees seem to have stopped storing honey freely in the supers, remove most of your honey crop when the cells are sealed. 
  • Don’t add more supers unless you know that your bees need them. At this time of year the brood nest is beginning to contract. 
  • Be aware that your bees could still be collecting nectar.

Courtesy of the Haynes Bee Manual

During July’s hot and humid days, you may notice bees resting outside of the hive. Don’t be alarmed, this is just their way of cooling off. You may need to add another super to your hives at this time, although it’s less likely if this is your hive’s first year. Continue inspecting your hives weekly, looking for the queen, and checking on the overall health of the hive. You may also wish to add an entrance reducer to limit honey robbers such as wasps.

In late July or early August (whenever the nectar flow stops) remove supers, harvest honey, put wet supers back on and then remove a few days later when dry (harvesting honey early gives the bees time to create stores for winters and means you might not have to feed them for the winter). 

Put any frames with uncapped honey into one super and put this below the brood box. This gives them a bit of extra food and the extra height keeps them a bit further from the cold ground. A queen Excluder should be at the top above the brood box. If there is medium or high varroa count then add a treatment – temperatures need to be above 15C for 4 weeks. Varroa counts can be inaccurate – so you might just want to add a treatment whatever the circumstances. Check out treatments: Apiguard, Apibioxal, FormicPro, Apivar or VarroMed.

July is a month where there is not much of a need to be digging around in the hive much unless you are doing swarm prevention or the following management activities. July is honey making month so if the goal is honey, let the brood nest be and make sure they have plenty of room.  You should be able to tell by looking at 3 frames, what is going on in the colony. July is a good month for re-queening your hive with a queen cell of local stock before winter time or making a few splits to overwinter so you don’t have to buy bees next year. Check out our queen breeding range here. 

Swarming should be over by early July allowing the colony and you to concentrate on collecting nectar. 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/

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 
  •  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

  • Looking for an extractor have 8 hives ,manual or motorised is the quandary?Any advice type and size please

    Eric Murray

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