As we move into those quieter months for the “active” Beekeeper it is all about preparation for the Autumn-Winter months ahead.
The Queens will have gone off the lay with a dearth in any nectar and pollen supplies and the wet weather has not helped as the workforce has been unable to leave the hives.
In my Apiary I’m pleased to say the population of the Varroa mite even amongst my strongest colonies has not increased to a level where I will need to treat.
It is essential if you are using Thymol based products like ‘Apiguard’ that the trays of gell are used two weeks apart and you need an ambient temperature of about 19 degrees for it to work efficiently.
This month is a good time to treat if necessary as there will be little brood about and you can feed at the same time you treat.
As it has been a generally poor year for honey production many of the colonies are short of food especially if you have taken off a late summer honey crop.
Except for the ‘Ivy’ there will be little in the way of a food supply for them to fill their brood chambers with to survive the winter.
Those of you who use sugar syrup or ‘Ambrosia’ can feed this month and into early October as the colonies can reduce the water content and store it over the winter without it fermenting.
If you are using Fondant purchased from Wests Bakery this can be generally used at any time over the next few months, if you have any doubt about the adequacy of the 30/40lbs or 20kilos of stores they will need to survive the winter.
Their population will reach its’ peak this month and then we start to see the Queen wasps out and about looking for somewhere to hibernate for the winter. All I can say is that thank goodness only 5% of them survive the winter.
Ensure the colonies have a small enough entrance to defend and when feeding no spills, old bits of comb left lying around or gaps in between boxes or roofs.
This foreign invader is clearly attempting to get established on the south coast and beyond. We need to think about preparation and start to try and get our “Spring” Asian Hornet Queen traps out ready.
Plenty more about this in the Bee Media.
Into next month, look out for the Yellow coloured Pollen of the Ivy pouring in during the first couple of weeks of October.
Then it will be time to finish feeding and get Woodpecker protection around the hives.