BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autumn Worries

I have spent the last few weeks trying to acquire some hives from a former commercial beekeeper up near the Canada border. Although I'm thrilled I finally have them, the lateness of the season and the incredibly poor shape of the hives requires some careful decision making.

I attempted to move the largest, hole riddled one into a new eight frame Langstroth hive. The robbing was insane as the fields had been prematurely mowed and the cold weather was setting in with air temps barely rising above 57F and then just for an hour or two. The hive must have weighed half by the time I got it put back together again; however, they are all safe and sound or so I hope.

After reading through pages and pages at Beesource forums I believe I will stick with what I've learned to do in the past and keep my winter set up. I thought I might go ahead and feed for fall... but worry about stimulative feeding as described by Michael Bush. I've seen this happen where the bees are fooled into thinking a nectar flow is on and that bolt into forage mode robs the hive of all the adults needed to keep the hive warm. Also, the danger they will pack the comb full and their winter movement options be restricted.

Here I used burlap to house the needles

Except since I have so many hives and because one of my hives was killed by wasps last fall I insist on a small entrance at the bottom. Instead of hardware cloth, a nail in front of the small opening, to keep the mice out - who are already making plans collecting the dried mowed grass and stashing it under the hives! - Thanks again, mowers...sigh -

So now I wait for a warm day. The weather changes almost by the hour. Weatherunderground has a very helpful graph that shows probable wind speeds and they appear accurate, as well as humidity etc. The sun is rising later in the morning and setting earlier every day. Woe is me...woe are the bees. I still have six old hole filled hives to deal with.

There goes the neighborhood...

No comments: