Aug 22nd 2012, 01:35 PM
Any Ottawa-area, Western Quebec, or Northern New York Beekeepers online?
I'm hoping there might be some local beekeepers (Ottawa area, Western Quebec and Northern New York) that can help me with what to do next. August is rolling over into September soon and I haven't the slightest clue what I should be doing with my bees.
Currently I have 2 douple deep hives - one has a strong population and is producing honey in a medium super and the other's population isn't as strong. The weaker of the two has an empty bottom deep and a full top deep of stores and brood.
When should I start feeding or should I even consider it? And what do I feed them - 1:1 or 2:1 sugar syrup. Are we expecting another flow in Setpember? In terms of IPM, what needs to be checked / treated for? When should I winterize my hives?
Aug 22nd 2012, 02:06 PM
I have some connection with hives not too far from you. I would suggest not depending entirely on the fall flow to make winter stores for your bees. Weather can be finnicky! Huge bee numbers can also be less than an asset if the weather is bad as they go through the groceries. Feeding can be a pain in the butt and has to be done before the syrup gets too cold.
What is your treatment philosophy. If you will treat with fumigillin you will want to do it while they will still take syrup. Will you treat for mites? Again some ways need to get underway fairly soon or bad weather can make it hard to get counts down. Have had problems there maybe from recontamination from other hives around.
Get a handle on how much total stores you have and how it is spread around in the boxes. Sometimes the bees will put nearly everything in the supers and leave the brood boxes light when you pull them off; others seem to want to fill the top box before they put much up so will be better prepared. Putting winter wraps on too soon is not a kindness as more activity uses up groceries quicker. They have to shut down. That is a few of the things we have found to be an issue.
Aug 22nd 2012, 02:20 PM
I can't answer for that area, but if you will weigh the same equip. empty, then weigh your hives, it will tell you how many lbs. of stores you have. If you can answer that question, someone in your area can give you much better answers.
Aug 23rd 2012, 05:50 AM
Hi and belated welcome to beekeeping. only joining this forum recently I had to look at your introduction to find out ware you are in terms of bees. I take it you started with nucs this spring. the hives these nucs came from should have been treated for mites but no guarantee unless stated by beekeeper who supplied them. If you have done no hive manipulation as a varroa treatment this year, then although the mite population may be low enough not to treat you can't be sure with out checking. if you have some capped drone brood you can use the capping scratchier to pull the brood and look for varroa, if you are finding then treat. There are other test like the power sugar or ether roll. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/444/444-103/444-103.html
Even if your hive has sufficient stores for winter feeding syrup is an effective way to get drugs in to the hive and bees. there are 2 drugs fed in syrup Fumidil-B used to control dysentery which is more of a problem in the northern regions where the bees can't take regular cleansing flights. and Oxytetracycline which is used to control foulbrood disease.but only when required. The development of antibiotic-resistant American Foulbrood (r-AFB) demands that the drug should only be applied when brood disease has been confirmed or detected nearby. It is no longer recommended for disease prevention.
Although We live in different locations, are beekeeping calender will be quite similar that the start or the season, the temperature, are almost the same. by the time the bees stop flying and cluster for winter you want 40 to 50 lbs of honey for them to overwinter on. that is about 8 frames of capped honey.
Aug 23rd 2012, 08:01 AM
Thanks Crofter - How far North in Ontario are you?
Originally Posted by Crofter
I did a mite count roughly two weeks ago and the levels were pretty low so I doubt I'll need to treat for Varroa - however I could always check the levels again just to be sure. Back in June I treated for Nosema, the bees at the time stored it all in the upper brood chambers. These chambers are still full of that treatment - should I treat again as a precaution or should I let the bees feed off these stores in the hopes they get the medicine it contains? When I looked at the hives yesterday, I noted the populations in both considerably lower than what they were three weeks ago - it appears they are beginning to shut down for winter.
Good advice Iddee - I will try to weigh them for sure to determine how many pounds of stores I have in each hive.
Originally Posted by Iddee
Thank You ApisBees!
Originally Posted by ApisBees
Yes, I started with two nucs in May though not much information was provided to us when we picked them up from the supplier as the bees themselves were from a different apiary in another province. I've since requeened both hives with local queens. I have two drone frames in place though last I looked the bees were filling them up with stores. I'll try your method of scratching out the drones in their cells to check again for mites. As I said earlier, I did a mite count a few weeks ago and the levels were good.
When should I start feeding if I decide to feed my bees?
Thanks all for your advice!
PS - If anyone has a calendar for Ontario, could you please share it?
Aug 23rd 2012, 08:26 AM
Every body's weather for many years....................
Aug 23rd 2012, 08:27 AM
Kempville, I live west of Sudbury but only have a few hives here. My son has ~30 hives west of Ottawa that I play with occasionally. Good that the mite count is low but as the brood cuts back and the forager numbers drop the mite to bee ratio will likely rise in the next month or so. I think the fumigillin in stores will likely do the trick. Feed after you take the supers off or if its for your own consumption dont worry about having them put a bit of sugar syrup in with the nectar. I use sugar in my tea if I am low on honey anyway, Lol! Better to have some extra supplies in the hive as they will turn it into bees in the spring if they dont need it this winter. We had that warm spell in March last year and the bees got making babies early, then got that cold weather and they really used a lot of stores. We had a few hives that lost a few bees to starving. We have about 7 months with no outside food.
Aug 23rd 2012, 10:42 AM
I'm going to check the mite count again to be on the safe side.
Originally Posted by Crofter
As for honey supers, only one of my hives has a medium honey super on which the bees seem to take forever drawing out - 5 out of 10 frames. There is honey stored in them and they are now only starting to cap it. How long can I keep the honey super on? Should I remove the queen excluder?
Aug 23rd 2012, 01:51 PM
I think you will be safe to take the queen excluder off. If they haven't drawn out most of the super yet it is unlikely they will fill it. Might be better to pull it and let them concentrate on the brood box supplies. You could conceivably put that on the weaker hive for stores. Having to requeen set you back a lot.
Aug 24th 2012, 11:16 AM
Good idea crofter - thanks