I've left them with the honey they collected this year. They filled 5 frames in the super and were drawing 2 more but I didn't think it worth extracting. I have to go back in 2 weeks to remove the last Apiguard tray and eke, so I'll check what stores they have in the brood chamber then.
Both of my hives are emptying a 4 pint rapid feeder every other day so I'm going to keep going for a couple of weeks and then put fondant in and leave them to it. Mouseguards at the ready but not installed yet.
Thanks to the loudry machine and good weathers feeding went quickly.
Now afternoon temp is 5c and a sunny day.
2/3 of hives have 2 wintering boxes. All colonies are strong because i united weak colonies.
No guards on yet,but all entrances reduced,should finnish feeding by the end of this month athough most have had at least one gallon,like them to rear more brood and collect pollen,but not too much crap ivy nectar,thymolised syrup,some fondant to nuc's.
Heather hives have fed themselves,apart from the almost useless carniolans. Good to see most of them back in there winter quarters.
Not fed anything. All have enough, or more than enough, stores for a reasonable winter. No mouse guards yet - they are far too active to allow mice in yet IMO.
I'm not ready for winter yet, but the bees seem OK. Certainly turned cool at night since Wednesday, but season is still going on and on. Still considerable amounts of capped brood to hatch although lay-rate is now low. So much for those who were giving up on the season at the end of July!
Collected a 'swarm' during the week (well, it had taken up residence in the angle between a fence post and panel a 'few' weeks ago, so the lady said). It would have fitted neatly in a 250g butter dish!
I may unite a nuc to a colony tomorrow, if I can find the queen for removal, weather permitting, etc etc. That will need frames removing, if it actually gets done this autumn, so may yet be more spare frames of stores. Perhaps I should be getting the spinner out again!
>> So much for those who were giving up on the season at the end of July!<<
Gave up here at the end of June,not much in june,then rained every day of july,and most of August.So apart for the bee's feeding themselves on the heather,pretty much over at the end of may.Yet a friend of mine in Oxford has had a very good season,so shows the regional variation.
Did a 'final' check for the year yesterday (though still plenty of activity given a continuing flow - so we'll see!). Drones being ejected at a satisfying pace; one hive with a super full of capped honey, other has plenty of capped honey on five brood frames (a late swarm, only five frames large now); both queens laying at a slower pace; and just about enough space for them to continue.
So with a little luck they can get on with it for the winter, and expired diplomats can hibernate!
Just gave mine about 7L of syrup with thymol each, wont give them any more now, i usually pop a slab of fondant on after i have treated with OA in december.
Its still mildish down here, although like yesterday we still get warm sunny days, the gaps in between sunshine and warmth are most definitely lengthening, i will try and do one more full inspection before the end of October then leave them alone.
I dont want to ponce about too much like i did in my first winter, give em time to seal up the gaps and cracks, put the guards on then leave them be.
Final check completed, still 2+ frames of brood though.
Ivy flow still going and bees pretty active (even saw low level activity at 7am on a fine morning last week when the outside thermo read +3.5'C !).
Wintering on brood and a half (super over brood, no qe between). Super was reasonably full but they have been given 27 ltr of double syrup and filled it up. Mouse guard in place. Going into winter with just the one hive so wanting to make sure they are given every chance. Small eke on top ready for fondant later, plastic bag full of polysyrene chunks for insulation ready but not in eke yet. R