July is a busy month on the croft and 31 days never seems enough. This is the month when we cut and bale our winter fodder for the cattle and everything is done with an eye on the weather. This year July was a bit short on sunshine and the old adage – “make hay while the sun shines” – turned into “lets wrap it for haylage and get the job done.” It has cost a bit more for the wrapping but the crop was heavier due to the wetter season.
The bees have been building up fast throughout the month of June and are now bouncing with young bees ready for the bell heather and clover which abounds in Sutherland at this time of year. The secret is to give the bees plenty of room before they begin to feel cramped in the hives – this means adding extra supers for honey storage which in turn takes the pressure away from the brood nest, leaving the space in the brood chamber to do what it is designed for – allways having sufficient empty brood cells to meet the queens egg laying abilities.
If you do not keep ahead of the seasonal needs of the bees you will probably spend July trying to retrieve swarms as they abscond in search of more spacious accommodation!