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Getting Bees Ready for Winter

The bees are looking good going into winter, been feeding right along as I’m raising bees and growing my apiary. So I still have a lot of brood and the drones are just getting pushed out. So I still have a late oxalic acid vaporizing treatment for mite control to get done on a good day. I have my mice guards on(I like 4″openings), inner covers flipped(hole taped), rigid insulation over the inner covers(outer cover on top), and providing wind breaks at my windy yards. I don’t do any wrapping but I might try bubble insulation on some of my single deeps and nucs to see if it makes a difference.

Its a lot of work to get the bees ready for winter, but with our hard winters its important to keep good ventilation to keep moisture from forming. With our weather it seems it gets cold, we get 3′ of snow, and then it warms and melts. There is a steady changing of temperatures causing moisture. I have ideas of wintering inside a building using single deep boxes that are packed full of bees and honey, where you can control the temperature fluctuations and humidity. I need more research but I assume that keeping them in total darkness keeps them in there colonies if we get a winter warmup. Hope everyone is getting ready for winter looks like our nice weather is gone for now. Happy Beekeeping!

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Fall Feeding

Feeding and raising bee this fall with all this good weather has really brought on my late splits. I treated for mites in August with the organic acids and finished splitting mid August, I fed them heavy till early September when the fall flow kicked in good. Now have been feeding 2:1 syrup, pollen patties, and open dry pollen since the end of September and recently some open syrup feeding. My colonies have lots of honey, bees, and brood. My nucs 5 over 5 and 10 frame singles have 3+ frames of brood with lots of young fat bees to over winter strong health colonies. I have mouse guards on most colonies(1/4″ hardware cloth) except my nucs that still have lots of drones and starting to flip my inner covers over and adding dry sugar patties over the top bars for extra feed. The open feeding and mouse guards have slowed robbing by giving the bees something to forage on and restricting the entrance size, this has made a big difference since most of the fall flow has been gone in my area for a month. Will soon be adding 1″ tuff R foam insulation tight over inner covers to help prevent condensation on the inner cover. And do one more mite treatment with oxalic acid vaporizer to make sure my counts are super low once the brood levels get lower. Looking to have a great year and hoping winter is mild and goes by fast! Please!

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2018 Nucs

We have over doubled our colonies to support nuc and queen production. We are increasing  our queen rearing to 250 mating nucs. We have added Minnesota Hygienic and Michael Palmer queens to our genetic stocks. This year the pickup dates will be weekly instead of one large date to improve our ability to provide quality and timely nucs. Mite counts this year have been very low with New York state inspection have 4 zero Mite counts last spring. There are also no small hive Beatles present in hives. The only treatments used are organic acids for mites. We will also be offering nucs on medium frames and limited number of 3lb packages. We have had great over wintering success and very few losses with our local Northern raised bees and am happy to be offering these nucs to our area with many happy customers. Thank you!

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 Queen Pictures 

Finally got a chance to take some pictures, have been very busy. These are all young freshly mated queens. I will be having some extra queens available for the next few weeks all my mating nucs are full and looking good. They are filling the comb with some really nice brood patterns.

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Provap 110 Vaporizer

How nice it was to use this vaporizer compared to Varrox vaporizer for anybody with more than 50 colonies it was a breeze to use. With the Varrox it took me about 6 minutes per colony and I used 2 of them that took it to 3 minutes, but was very intense and easy to get messed up with 2 going at once and 2 timers. With the Provap once you are set up and your holes drilled (1/4″) its just load and insert, with plenty time to load second cap and keep covering the entrances then opening them as needed. Only using 1 timer to get the 10 minutes coverage time and at 1 minute per colony its very easy to cover 100 colonies in multiple yards in 1 day by yourself. Great investment as I feel mite control is very important with the environmental impacts and nutrition are already cause too much stress on honey bee colonies, for better winter survivability.  I would recommend this product to anybody. This is the time of year to make sure your mite counts are low as bees are making there winter bees soon. If local sideliner beekeepers would like to get there colonies treated for mites and are in need of assistance, I am also offering that service you can call me and set up an appointment.

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Mite Counts

Did some mite counts on my established colonies that are not Hygienic with some counts in the 4-5% area so I’m going to start my Oxalic Acid treatments this weekend and for the next 2 to make 3 total treatments for the 21 day cycle. I have got the new Provap vaporizer all set up and ready to go with a mini Harbor Freight generator. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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We have some Michael Palmer queens from French Hill Apiaries!

Cant wait to get some grafts from these new queens this week and see how they can improve my genetics in the bee yard. Have done some mite counts from the Minnesota Hygienic queens and getting zero mite counts with a alcohol wash the first week of August. I need to test some of my other colonies to get some comparison on the mite counts.

8/11/2017 Got some nice grafts from round 1.