October Beekeeping Tips

October Beekeeping Tips

1. October provides one of the final months for major bee management. Final feeding should take place, and syrup consumption should begin to decline as your queen begins shutting down for the season. Feed to maintain a 30lb surplus through October.

2. Continue feeding pollen substitute. 2lbs per hive should be sufficient. A strong hive should be able to eat about 1lb every 10 days. If a hive is weaker, give them a half pound per feeding.

3. Any hive that has less than 6 frames, covered front and back with bees, should be combined with another hive using the newspaper method. Kill the queen in the weak hive, and remove the lid of the hive you are going to join with. Place a sheet of newspaper over the hive, and place the box containing the bees from the weaker hive directly on top of the newspaper. Over a period of days, the bees will chew through the newspaper, and merge into one hive. This slow method of joining helps prevent fighting between the two hives.

4. Finish any final mite treatments, remove any queen excluders, and if you use them, place entrance reducers in hives the very end of October.

5. If your hive has been properly cared for, and everything has gone right, you should have 8-16 frames of bees going into winter. A well fed hive, with virtually no mites, should easily survive the winter.

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