It has been quite a while since I have written an update specific about the hive status. I thought because were getting ready for winter its a good time to take stock of where everything stands. Just before winter it is a good practice for every beekeeper to do this. You may have weak colonies that need combined, you should have been feeding weak colonies for a while now. 1:1 sugar syrup up until now then switching to 2:1. In my area most like to make the switch around the time the goldenrod goes to seed or starts turning brown. This past week the goldenrod has made a very heavy shift in this direction in my area of the country. I am planning to overwinter 3 nucs this year. This is new territory for me and it’s difficult to know exactly how to handle them.
Home Apiary Update,
This is where I intend to overwinter the three nucs this year. I figure keeping them close to home is the best practice so I can look in on them often. These are the only hives I have at the home apiary for this winter. I’m finding that my other locations are much more suited for fall forage than our farm causing the need to feed in the fall more so than other locations.
Nuc 1 the mother colony, they currently have 8 drawn frames and good brood. I’m fairly happy with this I will move any undrawn combs to the out side and let them go adding a candy board to the top.
Nuc 2, This colony has 6 drawn frames so far I’m hoping they draw in a frenzy the next week or two of they may have to be combined. I also can add some drawn combs and feed them a good amount of 2:1 syrup to get it full. I may attempt this just haven’t decided yet for sure.
Nuc 3, this colony has 7 drawn deeps and 4 mediums. This isn’t bad, I’d like to see them draw out at least one more comb otherwise this is a good candidate to combine with nuc 2. I’m going to give them another week maybe two depending on weather reports and then make the tough decisions.
I have two hives here, both are looking fairly good. they have not had to be feed. One is two deep and using all of the space so far, the other has three deeps on but not really using the upper most deep. I’ll most likely take it away soon.
This apiary only has 1 hive at the moment. It is probably the strongest hive I currently have. They are two deeps and a medium. I will probably be able to harvest a small amount of honey from the medium. Looking forward to having a bit of goldenrod/aster honey this year.
Pine Rd outyard,
This is a new location for me I moved 1 hive there. They are two deeps and two mediums high. they are not using one of the deeps very well at the moment and I will probably have to take it off and leave it one deep and two mediums. some of the foundationless combs broke out during the move on this one. I’m thinking it will be best to wait until spring to fix them. Not sure what I’m going to do at this point.
That’s the bees as they stand so far. I have 7 total colonies going into winter this year that’s and increase of 4 compared to what survived the winter. My goal is at least 10 colonies overall. If I overwinter at least 4 of these I should be able to accomplish that and more next year. This year I have not made any strategic splits other than for the purpose of increasing hive count. If I suspect a high mite load I have left them alone. The colony at Pine Rd has never had a brood break accept when they swarmed early in the spring. I intend to do some late mite counts to see where they stand. My goal is to find a genetic line that can tolerate moderate to high mite loads with out treatment. I’m also pleased to announce that my queen rearing efforts were very effective this year. 100% of my attempted queens were successfully mated.