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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Friday, September 11, 2015

Bee Work, our schedule is growing shorter

The window for feeding and mite treatments is getting less every week.
 Extended forecasts for daily temperatures is heading into a cooler trend. As it cools off ApiGuard and MAQS ( Miteaway quick strips) will not be as effective. ApiGuard and MAQS need warmer temperatures to work effectively.
The next week to 10 days will work for MAQS.  Starting ApiGuard now would be a bad choice in the twin cities and points north. ApiGuard is a month long treatment and there will not be time temperature wise to get a full treatment regimen in.
 Moving forward, from the third week of September. The options for mite treatments will be ApiVar and Hopguard. Both of these mite treatment are contact strips and will work in the cooler fall daily temperatures.
 Feeding if needed should be done now. Beekeepers need to get any feeding done as fast as possible. Feeding promotes brood production because it is a nectar flow. Brood will be raised during a nectar flow. A hive can have brood present 30 days after feeding ceases. It is best to get feeding done by late September if possible. Right now the bees will take the syrup down very quickly. As the temperatures cool the bees become reluctant to take it down. The bees do not like cold syrup.
 Feeding ProSweet instead of sugar water is easier for the bees. ProSweet syrup is just like honey. It has fructose and sucrose. The bees store it in the cells and they are done with refining it. With sugar water the bees have to dehumidify it and turn it into honey. More work and it takes time. Nature's Nectar LLC does carry five gallon pails of ProSweet.
 The winter set up for food is this:
  • The top box should have eight full frames of honey and one partially full frame. The partially full frame should be in the center.
  • The second or bottom box (if in a two deep hive ) should have four full frames of honey, two frames on the outside of both sides of the box. The bottom box of a three brood box hive should have two full frames of honey on the outside ends of the box.
  • Do not put partially filled boxes on top of a hive. The bees may move up into this box in late winter and starve even though honey is in the box below. If you have partially filled boxes, place them now on top of the inner cover. The bees will move up and bring the honey down to the brood nest.
 Feeding ProSweet. The pails now come with an e-z pour spout. The five gallon lid does not have to be removed.