Sedums are in bloom and Goldenrod is winding down.
Sedums are a great late season source of pollen and nectar for pollinators, and honey bees love them! I'm happy that I see so many blooming in my neighbor's yards. They're a reminder to me that it's the time of year to share some honey with them.
The goldenrod is still going but it's winding down pretty quickly in my area. I extracted honey this past weekend and it's primarily goldenrod honey. It's darker than earlier honeys, which means it has more minerals, and goldenrod honey crystallizes quickly. I bottled some today from an extraction on Saturday and it's already cloudy. It might be that it has a higher sugar crystal content than others, but I don't know. Kathy says it's the sweetest of the honeys that I extract anyway.
I've put some frames with Ultrabee powder (technique demoed at the last meeting and pictured below) in the hives for the bees to make beebread. In a couple of weeks, I'll put out my repurposed Gatorade bottle Ultrabee powder feeders. The bees harvest the powder every flight day once the goldenrod is about done until it gets too cold for them to fly to gather resources. But not all beekeepers have had success with their bees gathering the powder from feeders, so putting it in the frames is a better method.
In addition to the frames of Ultrabee powder (protein), I've given my colonies a dose of ProDFM (probiotic) to help promote gut health. I see this as a positive way to help the bees fight disease because if they have a healthy gut microbiome they will absorb more nutrients. (SuperDFM is another probiotic.) Some beekeepers treat their colonies in fall with Fumidil-B (fumagillin) but research has shown that this antibiotic doesn't discriminate between beneficial bacteria and non-beneficial bacteria and kills them both, causing the bees to be less healthy overall. Fumagillin products are banned in many countries, but available in the U.S.
Most of my hives are within the winter population numbers that I like, but I have at least two that aren't. I'm robbing brood frames from very strong colonies to give to the weaker ones but there's only a few weeks left to do this. I've started feeding the weaker hives 2:1 sugar because they don't have much honey stored or personnel to collect nectar. Hopefully the added brood will get their numbers up and the syrup will load the larder in time.