Monday, October 14, 2013

getting the bees ready for winter & menthol tracheal mite treatment link

I took (probably) the last look at the hives this weekend.  Everyone seemed to have good population.  I did the old HIVE BODY LIFT - to mentally assess their honey storage.  I "applied" their SECOND batch of sugar syrup (with honeybee healthy).  The first batch had a dose of fumagillin.

The little hornet/wasps are ANNOYING the bees this time of year - they like the sugar syrup as much as the bees do.  I closed down some of the entrances on the smaller hives....where they weren't able to GUARD THE GATE so to speak. (remember - I have holes drilled top and bottom deep - I closed as many top holes as I could.)  Those with big population were still hanging out in the holes - guarding - I left those open.

and SURPRISE "daughter hive" from a last years swarm hive.....they're REQUEENING!  I suspect this late season requeening or overwintering with two queens is the key to success in this climate.  I'm placing my bets on this hive. I'm planning on taking that queen rearing class over winter and this hive is "marked" in my mind for genetic "donation" come spring.  In my pre-class reading on queening....THE MARK of a feral hive bee is that THEY'RE SMALLER than the "norm" - because they've been living on their own comb for some number of genetic cycles.  THIS IS SURVIVOR STOCK.  The bees in this daughter hive are just that....smaller.

Bees are still finding pollen...but their sources are crashing fast.  I've got 8 hives going into winter - I buy (2) 25# bags of sugar at walmart at a time.  I estimate that I'll need 4 more bags to get them up to November or whenever it freezes....

Meanwhile - I came across this VERY NICE BLOG - check it out.  I have the link going to the MENTHOL PAPER TOWEL - TRACHEAL MITE treatment article.  I've done this - and it works good.  The bees want to remove the paper from the hive.