Once the honey supers are off...it's time to get the hives in shape for WINTER. Get mite treatments on the hives as soon as possible - because the sooner it's DONE / OFF - the more time they have to "recover" from whatever you decide to put in there. Of course all these treatments claim to be "bee safe"...but ANYTHING you put in the hives makes an impact on their cycle. My treatment choice has been the APIGUARD / THYMOL again. It requires temps over 59 degrees! hmmm? the past couple of days haven't been there....and this treatment requires (2) trays over 4 weeks....so - if the temp goes bad - quick - I'll be OUT OF TEMP before you know it.
I notice some transparent bee debris on the sticky board (bee parts) with the thymol treatment - so I know it's hard on them. I'm assuming it's dead young brood that they're pulling out. And I also note some "behavioral" distress outside the hive....they seem a little "nasty" with each other outside. I also noted - it did a JOB ON the hive beetle larvae...dried them right up. I still see some remnant ADULT hive beetles - but it must get into the soft bodied larvae. GOOD! 'cause my big hive was INFESTED with hive beetle!
As the populations are headed in the downward direction once again - think about getting ENTRANCE REDUCERS on them. For three reasons: (1) when population is down - there are not as many guarding the entrances for wax moth or wasps, etc (2) ms. mouse is looking for a warm place to hole-up for winter. I've caught 5 mice in traps already.....they weren't INSIDE the hive - but they have a nice little nesting spot under the bottomboard. (3) helps keep a little warmth in the hive when it cools down. Once again - I have a hive (the same hive as last year) MAKING THEIR OWN entrance reducer. Someone please tell me HOW this works. I KNOW FOR A FACT it is not the same queen aka genetics in this hive.....but once again they're propolising the ENTIRE BOTTOM ENTRANCE SHUT except for a half dozen holes. bee memory? hive memory? surely there's not one bee in there that existed last year....and NO - there's not any propolis ledge to remind them (it's a different box)
SUGAR SYRUP BUCKET season! My "mark" for when to put buckets on....40-something degree nights. When it starts getting into that temperature zone....they start to cluster - and CONSUME FOOD rather than bring it in.