October in the Northwest Apiary

Hopefully you have been caring for your honeybees in the last couple of months, because time is running out.  Winter weather will be upon us before long.

Continue to feed sugar syrup, although soon enough the bees will stop taking the syrup.  When they do, stop feeding and clean out the feeders.

If you have mouse and vole problems in your area, it’s not a bad idea to use mouse guards.  Occasionally voles and mice can get into the hive and chew up some of the comb to make room for a nest site.  Some years are worse than others.  It’s good to have cats and owls around.

Check to see if your hives are tilted so that the front entrance is lower than the back.  This allows rain water and condensation to drain out of the hive.  If you have screened bottom boards, leave them open.

Some beekeepers weight the lids of their hives down with rocks or bricks.  Lids blowing off is only a problem in windy areas.  Perhaps you have a less windy location on your property to move your hives.

Remove the queen excluders if you use them.   It’s possible that the queen could get trapped below the excluder as the cluster slowly moves upward.  If she doesn’t stay in the cluster, she could freeze.

Consider combining weak colonies.  See September in the Northwest Apiary for more details.

Continue to check stored honey supers each month.  If you are using Para-Moth, you may need to replenish the crystals.  See September in the Northwest Apiary for more details.


Asters, single type dahlias, and some herbs are still continuing to bloom and will until a frost.  Everything has dried up this year (2015) except where the farmers are irrigating or where the urban population is watering their yards and gardens.

Copyright 2014-Richard Farrier-All rights reserved