With daytime temperatures often struggling to rise above the freezing mark, we know our bees are clustering around the queen to feed, protect, and care for her. The survival of the entire colony depends on her.
Winter is coming. Autumn is officially here and our bees are busy at work collecting as much pollen and nectar as possible to help maintain their colonies through the cold winter months. Gone are the warm easy days of collecting clover, buckwheat, basswood and black locust pollen and nectar. Suddenly, days have become shorter. Weather becomes even more unpredictable and the threat of first frost looms on the horizon.
It has been a busy couple of weeks in my apiaries as I have been catering to the needs of several newly established colonies, transferring nucleus colonies to full hives, feeding and pulling honey for extraction. However, my most important task in late July was to monitor and treat for the most devastating threat to honeybees: Varroa destuctor, the varroa mite.
Seasons of Backyard Beekeeping. This new series by J. David Weidner will explore the many facets of backyard beekeeping throughout the seasons.