It’s almost Thanksgiving and right on time the weather has confirmed that winter is arriving soon.
A few reminders and tips for this time of year:
- You will be able to order package bees at our December 5 meeting.
- If you have not already installed mouse guards – it’s time. Entrance reducers with 3/8″ slots – 3/8″ wire mesh – smaller mesh such as #8 or window screen wire with some holes enlarged with a pencil – store bought mouse guards. All will work, but it’s time to do it if you haven’t already.
- If you have solid bottom boards make sure that rain will drain out of hives and not puddle inside.
- Make sure your roofs don’t leak!
- A hive strap or heavy rock on top of each hive will ease your mind when you wake up at night and hear the wind blowing.
- The time for feeding syrup is pretty much past – if you have hives that are light you need to plan to install feed in the form of Mt. Camp Sugar, candy, sugar bricks or something before your hives actually need it. Now isn’t too soon.
- Top ventilation – your hives are likely to perish without it because excessive condensation will drip cold water on your bees. They will be fine with a lot more ventilation than you probably think, but too little will kill them.
- After Thanksgiving virtually all hives in our area will be broodless until sometime in January when queens will start laying a few eggs again to start the next season. This broodless period is a good time to treat hives for varroa mites – any treatment is most effective on a broodless hive – and usually there are a few nice days in December when you can get out and do it. If you plan to take advantage of this then you must have treatment materials on hand when the opportunity occurs.