Preparing for Winter- IPM, feeding and treatment?

It has been Fall in the bee world for 3 weeks here in Calgary, even with the wet season and the late honey harvest because of it. How do you know when you have reached fall in your beehive?

  • Colonies start to wind down their brood growth and start preparing for the coming winter
  • You will see that the bee populations begin to dwindle
  • Pollen loads become stronger
  • The entrance becomes more protective and bees can become more aggressive
  • Drone populations begin to be culled

 

REMEMBER, BROOD CYCLES ARE 21 DAYS, SO ALWAYS THINK 3 WEEKS AHEAD OF THE DAY YOU INSPECT TO BE ON TOP OF YOUR MANAGEMENT AND HAVE TIME TO APPLY IPM TECHNIQUES
So, you have harvested your honey and now you are wanting to prepare your hives for winter (wrapping your bees is not preparation, it is a final action after all IPM care has been completed); WHAT TO DO NEXT?
This is a list of questions you should be asking as you move forward before the snow flies!
Assessing Your Beehive in the Fall: Things to look for
  • Drone Culling
  • Entrance Protection
  • Brood Nest Size
  • Hygienic Behaviour
  • Clustering
Indicators of Honey Bee Hive Health in the Fall
  • Varroa Mites
  • Chalk Brood
  • Nosema
  • Foul Brood
Overwintering Your Beehive
  • How wrapped is wrapped?
  • Most common causes of winter kill?
  • Ideas and strategies to decrease moisture buildup
  • Bill Stagg Method
  • Sam Comfort Method
  • Insulated Super
  • TBH Winterization
To Feed or Not to Feed, That is the Question!
  • What is feeding?
  • Considerations to take before feeding
  • When is it good idea to feed?
  • What are the risks of feeding?
What Role Does Pollen Play?
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Pollen and Winter-bees
Is Your Hive Winter Ready?
  •  Statistics and ratios to keep in mind
Publications:

The Biology and Management of Colonies in Winter,  Adony Melathopoulos. Beverlodge, AB.

Strategizing Feeding in Spring: ABC Bee

Also, have a look at the Alberta 2018-19 IPM Guide for disease inspection, chemical application recommendations and product listings

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