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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Monday, September 8, 2014

Right now what should a typical hive look like.

Now is crunch time for beehives.
The honey supers should be off and if mite treatments need to be put on, should go on now.
A hive going into winter needs to have minimum 8 frames of bees. This means if you looked at your hive on a cooler day like the cool days coming up later in the week, you should have bees covering the both sides of 8 deep frames. The queen in the hive should have never gone through a winter. An old queen can fail during the winter and cause the colony to perish.
 There should be enough honey for winter stores. The right amount is 8 full frames of honey and one partially full in the top box. The box underneath the top box, should have 4 full frames of honey in the box. Preferably two frames on either side of the box. 
 This is the minimum size of a hive going into winter.
If you don't have that much honey, feeding now is the plan.
 I talked to a lady today that said she had a lot of bees but very little honey. I gave here this advice. The odds of getting 100 lbs in the hive at this stage of the season is very unlikely. The best thing to do on any marginal colonies is to depopulate them and start new packages in the fall. The expense to try to save something that is marginal doesn't make economic sense. She could try to feed them and spend $80.00 on feed. If they die anyway and eat up most of the feed, she would have been money ahead buying a package in the spring. Hindsight here is if she would have realized a month ago that her hives were light on honey she would have had time to get that amount in them.
Take your loss in the fall. Make a plan for spring now on what hives that will need to be replaced.