This has been a much calmer week with the bees. The clover is out in force and the bees are having no problem finding good wild nectar and pollen, this makes great honey! We took a look through the hives just to see that they had room to grow and the queens are laying well. This inspection is a quick easy look. I pull the top, look in to see how much space they have and if they have half or more of the frames full I will add a box. This is a little different than other inspections where I want 7 out of 10 frames full. The reason being is I will now give a bit more time between inspections. I know the hives are queened right and growing well. From this point I want to just let the bees be bees. Ill take quick look every just so often to be sure they have the space needed and add boxed as needed but that is all.
In the down time you can prep any honey supers you have and be ready to apply them as needed. I am now all done any spring mite treatments. I do have a report about the new OA system I bought. I purchased the JB700 vaporizer. This is a device that heats up a natural product in the hive to kill the mites. It does not hurt a single bee and it has made a great difference in the time needed to treat bees and the general health of the hives. I recommend it to anyone looking. I will try to get a action picture during the fall cycle of treatments.
I will not be feeding anymore at this point until I see a lack of nectar in the area or a hive in need. If you feed too much the bees will store it in the hive and not allow the queen the space she needs to lay eggs. This is known as "honey bound" and a big issue in the growth of a young hive.
We have tested a couple different wintering options in our area. This year we tried indoor storage in a small outbuilding we have ,(the chickens were happy to spend the winter on the big farm and volunteered their coop for the test). This was by far the best method I have found so far. It allowed not only the lack of wind, snow, and other weather issues, but allowed me a good controlled place to inspect the hives and add food as needed. We have now just about wrapped up the pole barn we will be using to store the hives in the future. I'm very excited about this and look forward to seeing how it increases our winter survival rates.
So at this point you should
- Be done with mite treatments.
- Any honey production hives should have supers on and be filling with honey.
- Checking for space every ten days or so looking for the general wellness of the hives.
- Have the rest of your summer gear prepped and ready.
- Start looking way ahead to winter. Get your mouse excluders ordered and sugar shims built. Fall is busy so use the slower months to prep.