October 2016 - Preparing Hives for Winter

Greetings from your WCBA president. My intent is to give pertinent beekeeping tips to you each month so that you will be able to plan the work that needs to be accomplished to keep your bees healthy, strong and productive.

It is October, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler, winter is coming. You should start thinking of preparing your bees for the cold weather. You have taken the honey harvest, and left your bees to filling the brood nest with stores. You will need to check by tilting the hive to evaluate the weight of stores. If it feels light, feeding may be necessary. Fall feeding should be a 2:1 sugar to water ratio. If you should have a weak hive you may consider uniting it with another hive. This is a good time to install mouse guards and/or entrance reducers. While you are there check for good drainage of the bottom board and hive ventilation. You should consider fall varroa mite treatment. The EPA has recently approved the use of oxalic acid as an organic method for treatment of varroa mites. Vaporizer treatments work best for fall and early winter treatments.

Learn more about beekeeping by attending our club meeting where seasoned beekeeper share their knowledge and experiences. Come and join us, we would love to share our knowledge with you! Our next meeting is 6:30 Wednesday October 14th in the Sagebrush Room at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

Howard “Howdy” Martsolf

WCBA President