Fall’s first frost

Yesterday’s sunrise sparkled on a heavy but early frost. I would rather work my bees than mow grass but the first frost brings the transition to doing less of both much closer. I have been preparing for the approaching end of the 2014 season by taking off honey in July, treating for mites, feeding and generally getting ready for the beekeeping fall and winter slow down. Honey is bottled, wax is cleaned, mouse guards are installed and entrances are reduced. One can even walk through the bee room and not stick to the floor! I am not without my weaknesses – the grass is still tall.

I have two hives that had a mite count higher than I would like for this time of year so I went off my normal process and treated a 2nd time. Just an experiment to see if they will make it to next spring. There is ample brood, a good queen, reasonable stores and solid bee cover in both hives. I could not find any evidence of mite transferred viral diseases or any other major issues other than the high mite count. I’ll see what happens.

There are several fun days scheduled through the local bee club. Things like fall weekend events to talk bees and sell products, an afternoon to meet possible new beekeepers, the always interesting fall state meeting and planning for next year’s best ever season. As always, lots to do with beekeeping even when there is less to do with bees.

Now if I can work out the grass mowing. Or just add it to next springs to do list.