This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

Search This Blog

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Time to finish pre winter work

This is a heads up. October first is one week away. For some of us, it was August just yesterday and now it is almost October. This fall is moving too fast.
 There is work to finish up now before it gets too cool.
Mite treatments. If mite treatments have not been done and a beekeepers wants to still do it, the miticide of choice should be ApiVar.
 Now with the cooler weather coming on, several mite treatments would not be effective. ApiVar is a contact strip. The strips are put in for 42 days and have to be removed after the treatment is finished. That would be removing the strips around mid November. The strips must be removed. The strips cannot be left in the hive.
 Feeding, as the weather gets cooler into the 40's, feeding can get more difficult. When syrup gets cold, the bees will not take the syrup very well. If feeding is still needed, feed now with 2:1 heavy syrup sugar water or ProSweet syrup.
 The advantage here is ProSweet. The bees will fill the frames with ProSweet and no other work is needed by the bees.
 The bees need to convert sugar water to honey. As it cools off, late feeding sugar syrup becomes tougher for the bees. The ability to have the time too convert the sugar water to honey becomes a greater challenge.
 Beekeepers are in the home stretch with their season. Time to get the chores done to help the bees survive the rigors of winter.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


This is the time of year beekeepers need to get their feeding done as fast as possible.
 To get the feed in a hive quickly, a few different fall feeding methods can be used.
Beekeepers can use multiple pails on a hive. Three feeder pails can be put right on top of the top bars of the top box. It is warm now and there is 50,000 bees in the hive. So beekeepers can take advantage of this by feeding multiple feeders to get the feed in fast. The bees can empty three gallons from the feeder pails in three to four days.
 Using a hivetop feeder is another way to feed a large quantity of syrup to a hive. A hive top feeder holds four gallons of syrup. A larger of number of bees have access to the syrup and the bees can put the four gallon away in about three to four days.
 Feeding ProSweet is the best fall food. ProSweet is similar to honey and the bees take it down and put it into the frames. The do not have to do anything to the ProSweet. The bees put it into the cells in the frame and they are done.
 With 2:1 sugar water, the bees have to dehumidify the sugar water and convert it to honey. Which takes time and energy.
 To compare, a gallon of ProSweet is one gallon of food that the bees get. A gallon of sugar water is by my estimate about 75% of a gallon of food after the syrup is dehumidified and converted into honey.
 three feeder pails on the top bars for fall feeding 

empty box surrounding feeder pails

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bear getting sneaky

This bear was able to reach through an electric fence with a paw. He tried to pull the hive to the fence but it tipped over and he was unsuccessful.  I was told that the bees were not pleasant when being "saved" by the beekeeper.
 Bears will reach in fences, tunnel under the wires, and climb a tree to jump into the fenced bee yard.  Beekeepers beware. This was in the east metro.

Bear reaching through the electric fence. Photo by D. Meyers

Monday, September 11, 2017

Found a handicap hang tag

I found a handicap tag, hanger type,  in my driveway. If it is yours call me.

All Mite Away Quick Strips on sale

We have all mite away quick strips on sale.
2 treatment $12.95 was $14.95
10 treatment $45.00 was $51.95

What is happening on the bee front

As the bee hives start slipping into late summer early fall mode this is whats going on.
 The bees are making winter bees right now. Winter bees have a different physiology than summer bees. Winter bees have the ability to store more fat in their bodies for winter survival.
 Beekeepers have been treating for mites and feeding their bees. Most beekeepers have pulled and extracted their honey. Mite treatments have been completed or are on the hive right now.
 Right now is judgment time. To winter or not to winter, that is the question.
 Beekeepers need to determine if weak colonies should be wintered, combined with other colonies or depopulated in late November.
 To winter, a hive needs at least 8 frames of bees. Meaning if it was say 50 degrees out and you looked at your bees, they would be covering both sides of eight frames. It is hard to to make a judgement when the bees are everywhere in a colony on a warm day, short of it being obvious that they are packed with bees.
 Weak colonies can be combined with other hives. The caution here is that a beekeeper does not want to add bees to an already strong colony. There is such a thing as too many bees. A colony with too many bees will eat their food stores and more than likely starve over the course of winter.
 Two weak colonies can be combined together. One of the queens needs to be killed, then the colonies can be combined with the newspaper method.
 Feeding: Any colonies that are light on food need to be fed NOW. As we move into fall and it starts to cool into the low 40's, the bees will not take down syrup.
 Feed is 2:1 heavy sugar syrup or ProSweet bee feed. With sugar syrup, the bees need to dehumidify it and turn it into honey. This does take effort by the bees.
 Feeding ProSweet is much easier on the bees. The bees can take down the syrup and put it in the cells and they are done. ProSweet is just similar to honey, it has fructose and sucrose.
 These are the late chores that beekeepers need to complete very soon.