Nectar Dearth! Whew! Is it almost over? This summer has been a particularly hard summer for my bees in terms of nectar available. Spring was amazing and my bees made more honey that I’ve seen in 14 years. I took some, but left most of it thinking there would be lots for winter. But they’ve been eating through it and now I’m feeding them again. Many other beekeepers have asked me what they are doing wrong because they aren’t seeing honey in their hives. I think it’s just the nature of beekeeping in this part of North Carolina.
Bees go through honey stores like crazy in February when they are building up for spring and I’m seeing the same kind of activity as they are building up for fall. With the stickweed and some goldenrod starting to bloom, they seem to be starting to get ahead again. But I’m still feeding them. I’ve started feeding them 1:1 sugar syrup and I’ll continue to do that until temps drop. Then it’ll be 2:1 (2 sugar to 1 water) until they can’t get rid of the moisture.
The other thing I’m doing a lot of these days is sugar shakes to determine varroa load on the hives. The new threshold for treating is 2 mites/100 bees so I’m using Apiguard this time around to treat them. Once treatment is done, I’ll do another sugar shake to make sure they are good.
And finally, I’m starting to move things around a bit to make sure the space is above the queen. If they don’t use it for the fall nectar flow, I can easily remove it and put it in storage until they need it in the spring.
So what’s going on in your hives?