For November, 2012
Here are some things, geographically and weather-dependent, to consider for your apiary about now. Remember, this is in geographical generalities. For area specifics, we suggest you talk with other local beekeepers and / or check with your bee club for common practices this time of year. We’ve covered these topics extensively in the last three years, so more ideas, insights and examples may be found in back issues from the fall of each year. All back issues may be found at www.kelleybees.com.
Things to check inside the hive, weather permitting!
Honey placement: The books tell us the best place for honey is above and to the sides of the brood nest. Your bees however may not have read the books. You may need to redistribute their honey a bit.
Enough food? How much is needed varies widely by geographic area, and the beekeeper you ask. See last month’s issue for some weight estimates by geographical area, and weighing methods.
If you don’t have enough stores? Consider supplemental feeding and pollen patties, which is only helpful before the cold sets in and the bees go into cluster.
Not sure? A good insurance policy is an emergency sugar ceiling. See the Mountain Camp Method sidebar. >>
Things to do outside of the hive for winter preparation.
North: depending upon how far north you are, these probably should’ve been addressed in October.
South: Use as appropriate, depending upon how far south you are