November 2018 Beekeeping Notes

Hardin County Kentucky Beekeepers Association

The queens have probably stopped laying by early November and the bees will start to cluster on cold days and nights and will only fly on warm sunny days.  It’s no longer recommended to feed sugar syrup but rather to start feeding either a sugar fondant or maybe winter patties. It’s a little early to place candy boards on hives. Entrance reducers should already be on, and mouse guards can be added if needed. The debris/inspection boards should already be on screened bottom boards.  If the hives do not have a good wind break, then consider wrapping “only” the back and two sides with roofing paper. If you still have any Nuc’s, they need to be wrapped, stacked and placed so as to be able to survive the winter—to include adding supplemental feeding with such as a candy board—refer to a reliable source for discussion on how to over winter Nuc’s. Take a quick peak under the top cover of the hives at least once every two weeks (on a sunny day with little to no wind) to see if the hives are still viable or having problems such as significant die off of bees. Hives can be treated for Varroa mites with Oxalic Acid during this time of year—reference the Honey Bee Health Coalition website for more information on possible treatment methods.