November 2019 Beekeeping Notes

Hardin County Kentucky Beekeepers AssociationBeekeeping Notes for November into December:

Note 1:  As you may remember, I treated all my hives several weeks ago with Formic Pro. After the treatment period, I removed the used wafer pads and began feeding 2:1 with some old honey added right away. I did not see any adverse effects on the bees or queens. Actually all the queens were still laying. I did have a couple of hives with reduced bee populations, but I suspect that they were already in a weaker state prior to treatment.  Amazingly--- I have one hive that is still growing in size and had to add a medium last week– it’s packed full of bees – it was from a swarm caught earlier in the summer.

Note 2: As of yesterday, November 5th, the bees were still taking 2:1 sugar mixture, but that will really slow down with the coming blast of colder weather. I plan on placing an AP23 Winter Patty from Dadant on each of my hives within the next week. That should hold them until December when I’ll provide winter supplemental feeding using candy boards or similar. I’ve been using candy boards for a bunch of years.

Note 3: There is still time to either reduce a hive in size due to reduced population or to combine weaker hives with stronger hives. You do need a nice warm day or two to do this.

Note 3: November into December:

  • The three main cause of hive loses in the winter are Varroa Mite, Moisture in the hives, and Starvation.
  • Check hives for adequate food and provide some supplemental food source such as candy boards or winter patties.
  • Check to see if the hives are still queen right.
  • Adequate ventilation is important and that may only be by making sure that the 2” + entrance opening is not obstructed and that there is a small ½” to 5/8” hole up at the top front of the hive. I provide one in each of my candy boards for added ventilation.
  • Close screened bottom boards, put on entrance reducers and/or mouse guards, and provide for protection against the wind if needed.
  • Consider a one-time treatment with Oxalic Acid sometime after Thanksgiving.

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