The last inspection took place on 5th September (two weeks ago), they will not be inspected again until mid-April next year.
I hefted (manually weighed) the hives and they are all heavy enough to last until February time next year at which time we can put fondant on the crown board if that is necessary. I did not need to go into the hives nor disturb the brood frames.
The bees are ready for winter.
Be Patient:- The key now is to be patient and let the bees get on without us beekeepers disturbing them. Your bees will appreciate this and will repay you next spring. Mess around with them now and there is a very good chance you will adversely affect the colony.
The grass on the apiary site was cut and some weeding carried out on the area at the bottom of the boundary fence where Willow twigs, borage and lavender have been planted. The site is now ready to last the winter.
In two weeks’ time (assuming we have petrol) three things will be done:
- the medicine strips will be taken off the hives,
- the empty feeder buckets removed and
- the mouse guards put on.
These will be done without disturbing any brood frames or the cluster of bees.
Around Dec 21st we will treat the hives against the Varroa mite using Api-Bioxal . This will ensure that the first sets of bees to emerge in the new year are as healthy as possible.
January onwards we heft the hives every 2 or 3 weeks to make sure they have some stores – any hives which are running short of food will be given blocks of fondant.
Around mid-April next year, when the weather is warm, we will start the inspections again. Seems a long time away but you must be patient.