October 2013 Meeting
Our guest speaker, Bill Sheppard, talked about cold weather management of bees and other subjects. He demonstrated using small hive models; with only two hive boxes.
- Take off any supers. Use a double hive box system. If there are not enough bees, then take out of ten frame hive and put in five frame nuc.
- Make sure all treatments are done at the right time and keep record of where, when and how of treatment.
- Treat for varroa and tracheal mites.
- Make sure queen is good and that there is plenty of feed, including pollen. Bees need several different kinds of pollen.
- Be aware that hive beetles love pollen substitute. Feed it as a powder, not a patty. It takes nine days for hive beetles to destroy a hive.
- Wax moths will be a problem until freezing.
- Check with people who have bees. Learn as much as you can.
- Avoid screened bottom boards.
- Do treatments in late July to early August.
- Terramycin will keep spores of AFB from multiplying in the bee.
- You have to keep the pests under control. Treat twice a year and six months apart.
- Treat nosema ceranae with fumagillin.
- Do everything you can to keep that hive of bees alive.
September 2013 Meeting
As our speaker at last night’s meeting, Bob Blackwelder gave us several tips on caring for our bees this time of year, which is, to the bees, the beginning of the beekeeping year even though to us it’s almost fall.
• It’s too late in the season to split hives because bees need higher temperatures to build wax. Bees work with daylight changes and are getting ready for winter; their hives are set up the way they want them. So, please leave them alone.
• Look at their mite load and treat appropriately.
• We’re on a fall pollen flow now and the pollen varieties are good because the fall flowers are blooming. Goldenrod, bitter weed, and aster are especially good for nectar and pollen at this time.
Nosema is a concern for everyone. He isn’t going to take a chance and will be drenching his bees. Here is his drench formula:
• With a 1:1 sugar/water syrup mixture, measure 10 ounces in a 12 ounce container.
• Add 1/8 teaspoon fumagilin-B
• Shake well
• In a number 2 soup can, poke several holes in the bottom; pour mixture in can, then sprinkle evenly over bees so that all are drenched.
• The bees will begin cleaning themselves and will have ingested the medication within two hours.
• Repeat drench in 10 days.
It’s important to use the mixture immediately so the medication will be effective.
Fondant is a bee favorite winter feeding. Here is Bob’s recipe:
• 10 pounds of granulated sugar
• 3 cups of water
• 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar
• Heat, use candy thermometer and heat to 243 degrees
• Remove from heat, then cool until mixture is at 180 degrees.
• Put in mixer then blend until it is white.
• Pour into pre-sprayed molds (Pam or canola oil is recommended).
• Cool over night. The next morning cut into cake sized patties to place on top of bee frames.
Remember to use a ring on your hives to allow space for the fondant cakes.
Information provided by Mr. Bob Blackwelder, Honory Member SCBA