Preparing for Winter

Yes its that time of year again, the bees rushing around trying to to fill every cell with honey, beekeepers rushing around removing any “surplus” honey, assessing the strength of colonies, and stores. The bees are on the Balsam, the Ivy is already flowering in some parts of the County, some colonies are becoming more defensive, wasps are active and the nights are drawing in!

So here are a few things for your beekeeping ToDo list.

  • Remove any surplus supers
  • Compress super frames into one super if possible
  • Consider if a super of food will be left on over winter
    • Consider if the super will be “under” or “over” supered.
  • Prepare to apply Varroa treatments
  • Prepare for feeding if required
    • Check and clean feeders
    • Prepare heavy syrup or order proprietary feeds such as Ambrosia
    • Make sure appropriate crowns boards, ekes etc. are available on all hives
  • Consider weather proofing hives
  • Consider if additional insulation is required
  • Assess colonies and consider uniting, throwing out, or downsizing to nucs for any smaller colonies
  • Plan when to remove queen excluders
  • Check out BBKA website in the Resources Section, a number of new publications available including: BBKA News – Natural Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees – NEW, BBKA News – Integrated Pest Management – NEW.