Fall Prep

Mite treatment is finished and feeding has started. I feed all my hives this time of year in an attempt to keep the queens laying with the goal of good fall brood  production. Healthy fall bees are what will get the hive through the next five to six months. I have protein feeders out but have not seen any interest in the protein supplement.

I continue my every two or three week inspection looking for capped brood, larva, the drop in drone numbers, mite and small hive beetle infestation and any other information I can glean, although the hives are going into the home stretch before winter and this limits my options if I find issues. Several beekeepers have compacted weak hives with laying queens down into 5 frame equipment and that appears to be helping.

The merits of  making overwinter nucs in late August was a topic of discussion recently. I have never tried in late August because there is not much fall flowering in this area. I feel that bees do better if raised on nectar and pollen as opposed to sugar-water and protein supplement.

The next club meeting is a panel discussion on nuc production. I hope to encourage other members to make nucs for their own use and hope this will help cut back on the number of packages brought into the area each year. It is always a mixed success with packages and when combined with less experienced or new beekeepers disappointment in the spring is more prevalent that one would hope.