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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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The weather

This looks like the last week of 70 degree weather. Beekeepers should check their hives winter stores. This warm weather may have made the bees consume more food than normal.  Topping off the hives food supply may have to be looked at.
 The extended forecast has the temperatures staying in the 60's for a couple weeks, then cooler as the days move closer to November. As the weather cools beekeepers that still have work to do will be finding it a little harder to get syrup into the hive.  Feeding needs to be completed as soon as possible. The bees do not like cold syrup and they will be reluctant to take the syrup down. It looks like there is about two good weeks of feeding ahead, after mid October the bees may be reluctant to take syrup very well.
 The top deep box should be full of honey right now. Feeding is needed if the colony is light on food stores. If the outside frames are empty. Moving the empty frames to the center of the box and full frames to the outside of the top box. The bees seem to fill the frames better if they are in the center of the box.
  Mite treatments are more limited in the colder weather. Apivar and Hopguard can be used as they are contact strips and don't depend on warm weather for them to be effective.
 Oxalic Acid has been approved for use in MN. Oxalic acid can by used around mid October, when a hive becomes broodless.  Oxalic acid only kills mites that are directly on the bees. Mites that are in brood cells are not killed by the Oxalic acid treatment. When hives are fed late, the queen will continue to lay. The nectar flow produced by feeding will stimulate the queen to lay eggs. Plan on having brood in the hive about thirty days after feeding.
 With the cooler weather moving in, entrance reducers should be put on colonies to keep mice from moving into the colonies.