Almost Fall

I’m getting my hives ready for winter. Mite treatment has finished and mite counts are currently low but I’ll check again in the next few weeks. All hives are down to four medium supers and feeders are on. I installed mouse guards over the weekend. So what else? I created this check list for Mid September (pre frost) hive inspection.


  • When warm, lots of bees flying in an out, some with pollen
  • No evidence of Nosema streaks or other disease (no dead bees in entrance)
  • Solid weight when lifting back of hive
  • Hive in good mechanical shape and well painted
  • Hive stand tipped slightly forward, level side to side and solid
  • 3 to 4 medium (or equivalent) supers for over winter
  • Brick or rock on top to help hold cover on
  • Reduced entrance
  • Mouse guard available or in place


  • 1 medium super with good amount of capped honey at the top position with 2nd super being filled
  • Bee cover on all frames (capped honey may have fewer bees)
  • Very few or no Small Hive Beetle
  • Very few mites on 24 hour mite drop board (2 or 3 max)
  • Good brood pattern
  • Brood below honey in 3 or so frames consisting of eggs, larva and capped brood
  • Pollen stored in brood area (other areas are a good thing)
  • Healthy bees with no deformed wings or attached mites
  • If any drone brood is available it does not have mites on it
  • Few drones or drone brood at this time of year
  • Ventilation in place (cover tipped up or other means)
  • Feeding sugar syrup to keep queen productive