Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fall Management

Is mid October, and the Florida Bee Forums are finally talking about getting the bees ready for winter. The Fall management steps will ensure a healthy and productive hive come spring, and the survival of the hive during winter

  1. Re-queen if necessary. – The hive did an emergency supercedure a few months back (raised a new queen). From the egg laying I have seen, I’m sticking with her. She may technically be a mutt (not breed by an expert for desirer qualities), but is my mutt and is from a proven local stock.
  2. Varroa mite treatment – The mite is a very dangerous parasite for bees, and the main source for a pronounce impact on the US bee industry. As an organic beekeeper, my goal is to knock/kill the mites off the bees with out chemicals. I should have very little to worry about this year. A broken brood cycle is one of the best mite control methods. Inadvertently, the hive had a broken brood cycle while it was raising a new queen. I have also observed a very good grooming behavior from the bees. In the weeks to come I will implement two organic Control methods. I’ll smoke them with tobacco (isn't nicotine a chemical ?? Oh well), and sprinkle the hive with confectioners powder sugar .
  3. Sufficient food stores – the bees must collect enough food to last them till next February. 80% of the medium supper is full of honey. Good stuff too. I couldn’t help having a taste when I broke some cells as I was doing my inspection.

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