• Purchase or make cornstarch free fondant. You should have 6 lbs. per hive for winter supplements/back up feed to their honey stores. For more info on fondant refer to our “Beekeeping Tip of the Day - Fondant Feeding”.
• Consider the mountain camp method as a winter supplemental feed.
• If your hive has gone queenless, it is too late to requeen this time of year in the West Virginia region. The chances of queen acceptance are poor in the fall or when there is a dearth. It is better to combine the queenless hive onto another colony using the newspaper method or take whatever resources (pollen / honey), if any, from the queenless hive & transfer to another colony.
• Lift up on the back of your hives. If you feel any are light & weigh less than 60 lbs. start feeding them 2:1 sugar water to fatten them up. By the first week of October your hives should be winter ready with 30,000 plus bees and weigh 80 pounds or more.
• For weak hives, reduce boxes if needed to prevent wax moth and small hive beetle infestation and so the bees can police the smaller living area better.
• Continue swarm management. Be very cautious about making splits. Splits make two weak hives. You want your bees going into fall/winter with the most resources and population as possible. It is better to remove brood from a heavily populated hive to boost a weaker hive.
• Continue to monitor/test for mites and medicate if necessary.
• If you haven't already done so, move your best drawn comb towards the inside of the boxes so the bees will be able to cluster better upon. It is very taxing for bees to draw comb & they use a lot resources to do so. Most likely they will not draw it out anyway this time of year. Spring & the beginning of summer is the best time for bees to draw out comb.
• If weather becomes cool, install mouse guards.
For more beekeeping info, download our free “2020 Beekeeping Guide”.