September 2019 Beekeeping Notes

Hardin County Kentucky Beekeepers AssociationThe weather continues to be hot and dry and the queens have really slowed down laying. There is very little nectar flow in many areas.

Beekeeping Note #1

I have checked all of my beehives and they are all doing pretty good, but the weight of the hives tells me that there is not nearly enough honey and pollen stored up in the hives. You can check the weight by picking up on the back of the hive a little way and if it does not feel heavy at all or only a little heavy then you need to feed more often. I fed all my hives on Wednesday morning and by 06:00 PM that evening many of the hives had completely consumed both bags of sugar syrup. I will begin feeding at least twice a week with two (2) quart feeder bags of 1:1 sugar syrup. That’s every 4 to 5 days. Late in the month, I’ll mostly likely increase the feeding to 2:1 sugar syrup thru October. Avoid patties because the hive beetles and wax moths love them—maybe later in October when the weather turns much cooler and after the first frost.

Beekeeping Note #2

I treated all my hives back in early August with Apivar strips and so they should be good until mid-September. Some time after that, I’ll do a mite check and treat again in late September or early October. Wax moths are abundant so be on the watch. Put up my recommended bug jugs.

Beekeeping Note #3

All honey supers should be removed by now. When there is a little cooler day and not so hot and humid, it is a good time to inspect the hives to see how they are doing. That means “very carefully” inspecting each hive body/box for eggs, larvae, capped brood, honey and pollen stores --- seeing the queen would be a plus but not a necessity if there is eggs, larvae and capped brood. Plus doing a mite check on at least a few of the hives.

Beekeeping Note #4

It’s pretty much to late to split or re-queen a beehive. BUT you should start evaluating each hive as to whether each is a strong healthy hive, a moderately strong but healthy hive or a weak and not so healthy hive. I just reduced one of my not so strong or healthy hives down to a single deep and may re-queen with an extra Nuc that I still have. The other option is to combine weaker hives with stronger ones. Unfortunately, you must pinch out the queen in the weaker hive. OR if the weaker hive appears to have a healthy queen but just not doing well, you might consider reducing the hive down to a single deep or to a Nuc and seeing if the queen gets going again.

Beekeeping Note #5

Be sure that you are properly storing deeps, mediums and shallows with drawn cone or they will get consumed by wax moths very quickly.

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