Fall and Winter Honeybee Management

As Fall and Winter approaches, I am asked by many non-member beekeepers, “I guess your work is done for the year?”  Little do they know that beekeepers work twelve months out of the year to ensure that their bees are alive and healthy, in hope for a good honey harvest; and that the weather is good next Spring.

For those that are beekeepers, here are a few tips to help you prepare your bees for winter. By now, you should have your bees medicated for mites.  In East Tennessee, this Summer and Fall has been very hot and dry.  Check your bees for food storage; if low on food you should feed a ratio of two to one of sugar water.  That is ten pounds of sugar to an one gallon o water with three tablespoons of Honey B Healthy.  Bees need forty t0 sixty pounds of food stored to make it thru winter.

Hive Beetles can also be a problem for this time of year.  Keeping your bees in full sunlight and your hives well ventilated can help with the hive beetle problem.  If the problem is severe, the use of beetle traps can help reduce the number of hive beetles in your hives.  Also keeping your bees strong and healthy can help the bees to maintain the hive beetle.

Check to make sure you have a good laying queen and a good brood pattern, which consists of eggs, larvae, capped.  The younger bees you have to go thru the winter months betters the chances your hives surviving winter.  Thank you for reading our blog.  More winter tips next month.