Disclaimer:

This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Cold Weather Making It Hard On Beekeepers

 Brrrrr. I heard that today from my beeyard. Unseasonably cold for the short term 

Beekeepers need to get their work done. By now supers should have been removed and bees should have been treated for mites. Right?

If you haven't done these chores it is time. When it is cold out, bee escapes work great to remove bees out of the supers. Honey Robber does not work as well when the temperatures drop into the 60's. Get the honey off now and extract the supers.

Mite treatments need to be done now if you haven"t done it yet. As time goes on high Varroa counts can damage the bees. This damage can make the bees not survive the winter. So this week mite treatments such as Formic Acid can be applied to the hives. ApiVar can also be  used. Follow the directions on the container. 

Robbing and mice will becoming an issue. Entrance reducers could be put in the hive if it has been treated for mites. If you are treating for mites with Formic Acid, the entrance has to be left fully open. 

If you are on top of the mites and the honey is extracted, making sure the hive has enough food for the winter. Right now a hive should have eight full frames of honey and one partially filled frame in the top brood box. The partially filled frame should be located near the center of the top box. This partially filled frame helps the bees transition from the lower brood box and move up to the upper brood box. The bees don't like to move up on frozen honey. The partially filled frame is easy for the bees to occupy. The brood box below the top brood box should have about four frames of honey in it. This amount of honey in these two brood boxes should be more than ample food supply for the winter.

Feeding needs to be finished as fast as possible. We don't want to feed and let it to drag out into October. Feeding stimulates the hive and the queen will continue to lay. By getting the feeding done quickly. The queen can stop laying sooner. The last mite treatment of the year is done in late October. For this mite treatment to work the best, is to have the hive as brood fee as possible. By feeding into October, there may be brood in the colony into November.

 We are coming to the end of our bee season, time to finish up the chores.

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