1st Year Hive Tasks

Ann Harman

  • The bee year is winding down – Winter is approaching.
  • October First – the day to install mouse guards
  • Queens decrease egg laying – brood diminishes.
  • Use broodless period for Varroa intervention until day temperatures lower below 57°F.
  • Bees start their cluster at 57°F.
  • Keep small hive beetle under control until weather becomes cold.
  • If you are in bear country, make certain bear fence is working. Bears need to fatten up before hibernation. They are looking for brood.
  • Bees need adequate Winter stores: Warm climate 40 pounds
  • Temperate climate 60 pounds
  • Cold climate 90 pounds
  • Frames of stored honey can be moved if colonies are disease-free. Look carefully – do not move the queen.
  • If feeding is necessary, mix two or better three parts white granulated sugar (or slightly less) to one part water.
  • Do not feed liquid syrup when temperatures are below 67°F.
  • Do not leave queen excluders on the hives. Clean them on a cold day when wax will snap off.
  • When cleaning queen excluders inspect for any damage and discard. Queens find bent rods and torn plastic.
  • Inspect all equipment for damage. Set aside for repair – or – fix it now!
  • Inspect stored comb for damage, excessive drone comb, pieces of cross comb
  • Protect all stored equipment, including plastic queen excluders, from mice
  • To kill wax moth eggs, woodenware and brood combs can be placed in plastic bags and frozen for a week. Leave in plastic bags and protect from mice.
  • Clean up the beeyard (and find that lost hive tool). Do not leave pieces of equipment lying around.
  • Clear weeds from hive entrances so bees can take cleansing flights.
  • Wash all bee clothing – veils, jackets, coveralls, gloves. Replace household gloves with new ones.
  • Clean up the smoker and make sure it is free of ashes under the grid.
  • Check hives once a month to see if food stores are adequate. Do not break the cluster!
  • The holiday season is coming – use honey in cooking!
  • It’s a good time to read bee magazines and books.
  • Santa is waiting for your list of equipment and books so he can load   his sleigh!

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