October has been very mild, frequently wet with some wind but the bees could fly most days and there have been no very cold periods. Even today at the end of October the bees are still pulling in pollen! I have been feeding heavy syrup because one of the side effects of the oxalic vapor treatment, is that the bees seem to take up some of their stores after each treatment. So I have been pleased to get some more stores in. I have been keeping an eye on the long term forcast to make sure the weather is likely to be sufficiently warm for them to handle syrup. Continue reading
Its October and the weather has just started changing. Cold winds from the north have brought on a real chill and the bees appear to be preparing for winter by developing a loose winter cluster pattern in the super. This picture is of the bees forming a loose winter cluster.
Some bees are still flying but activity seems to have slowed down markedly.
I had to come to a hard decision to treat my bees. The hive had reached a daily Varroa drop count of nearly 100. The writing was on the wall, I either did something or I would lose my bees and have to start again next year. My long term strategy is to breed bees that can handle Varroa themselves and to regress my bees to impede the varroa life-cycle. But the hard truth is I’m just not there yet. Continue reading
So far October has been mild and the bees are able to fly and continue foraging, The ivy is flowering and there are a number of other late blooms. The super is nearly completely full. I stopped feeding mid-september when the ivy flow started. Autumn is approaching fast and a number of issues make me worry that my hive may have problems over the coming winter.