WHAT SHOULD I BEE DOING IN September 2019!
MITES, MITES, GOLDENROD, GOLDENROD, OH MY!
I have seen the leaves changing on some maples and the goldenrod is lighting up the fields. We are in the home stretch of hive management but we are not done yet! Between now and my last post, the goldenrod started flowing making the bees and this beekeeper very happy. Have you visited your bees in the last week and thought to yourself, what is the smell? Some say sweaty gym socks, I say the aroma is yeasty and delicious. Pro tip-you know when the goldenrod is producing nectar, the smell is very obvious. You don’t even need to open the hive to smell it. Hutty says after this period of rainy and cool days passes, the forecast looks mild and warm. We will hit 80 again! This should keep the goldenrod flowing a bit longer and help the bees cure their winter stores.
WHAT ARE THE BEES DOING IN SEPTEMBER?
The queens are laying their last generations of workers but I am still seeing a decent amount of brood in the hive. They are starting to evict the drone bees little by little to slim down the hive of any “free-loaders”. The foragers are working super hard to get every last drop and every last pollen grain they can, whether it bee from the fall flowers of goldenrod, asters and sunflowers or the remaining summer flowers. There is still a little clover out there. They are also fighting with the varroa mite! Again, the queens and bees are slowing down and the mites are not!
WHAT IS THE BEEKEEPER DOING IN SEPTEMBER?
Mite checks, mite checks, mite checks. I have seen a significant jump in numbers in some of the hives. From 4/300 to 16/300 in just a few weeks. The treatment threshold is 9/300. Some have had 25 or 30! I have been using one strip of Mite Away Quick strips. I will test again in 7 days to see if the treatment worked and then make a decision on what to do next based on the results. I will either follow up with another strip or wait till late October(when the hives are broodless) for oxalic vapor or dribble. The levels have varied depending on location and my largest numbers are at Inver Grove Heights. You must have your mite levels low before winter if you expect them to survive. I have also been checking on food stores and will remove any remaining supers next week. I left a few extras on just in case we had a strong goldenrod flow. Hives can still swarm this time of year! I am waiting to feed the bigger hives until the goldenrod is done but have been feeding any nucs that I started in July. They simply do not have the foragers to get all the nectar they need to store before winter so I have been supplementing with 2:1 sugar syrup. Remember, if you need to feed this time of year, use 2:1 sugar syrup so the bees don’t get over excited about what is coming in and rear more brood then they need. Double deeps should weigh at least 130lb’s, nucs should weigh 70lb;s before winter. If you need to feed, start by Sept.15th. this gives the bees time to store and cure it.
Club Camp Beez Kneez Harvest Party will be on Sunday, September 29th at 3pm at the Beez Kneez Honey House. Please bring a dish to share and a sample of honey if you harvested. We will also have your t-shirts! Please RSVP by emailing me.