top of page

September and the Beekeeper

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Golden Rod and Asters are the last

blooms of the season for bees to stock up their winter stores. This is the time you will finish up harvesting your honey and leave each of your hives with a brood box on bottom and a full honey super on top. If we have any supers that are light we will borrow from another hive to make sure the weaker colony has enough food stores.

Put mouse-guard/reducers on the hive entrance. Mice and other critters (bees) will be looking for a warm dry place to live in addition to food to eat and they are very destructive. We had mice in some of our hives last year and even though I thoroughly removed the wax and cleaned the frames my bees would not build new wax foundation where the mice had nested!

Besides mice, mites and wax moths are an issue! Listed below are treatments for Varroa mites and the best times to use them.


Late Season Varroa Mite Treatment Options


Active Ingredient

Temperature Range

Length of Treatment

Supers On or Off?



(dribble or vaporization)

Oxalic acid

As low as 40 deg. F

Single dose


For best results hive should be broodless, or nearly so. Requires special equipment to use as a dribble and during vaporization.



60-100 deg. F

28 days


More effective in warmer weather (70-85 deg. F) when bees are not in a constant cluster.




42 - 56 days


Must be installed early enough in the fall so that the strips can be removed at the end of the treatment before winter makes opening the hive impossible.

Formic Pro™

Formic acid

50-85 deg. F

14 or 20 days


Best used earlier in the fall, rather than later.


Winter preparations

Feed your bees sugar water at a ratio of 2:1 until they stop taking it or temps are at freezing. After freezing temps have been around for a few weeks you can add candy boards/blocks to the top of your hives.

There are several different approaches to wind protection.

  • Positioning your hive that the entrance is away from heavy winds

  • Wrap the hive(s) with tar paper or purchased hive wraps

  • Surround hive(s) with a wind fence of 3' high and a spacing of 2' in front of opening so bees can come and go freely.

  • You can also use 2" foam board insulation on the top and sides

Moisture and Ventilation

Because moisture in your hive can kill as much as freezing temps, you want to prevent condensation from occurring in the hive.

  • Wood chips, quilts and pillows are common methods in controlling moisture

  • Have openings in the top and bottom of the hive for air to circulate in through the entrance and out through the top.

  • Keep the entrance clear of debris (branches, snow, dead bees)

Candy board/block recipe

sugar-10 lbs.

1.5 C water

1.5 tsp vinegar

2 T Honey Bee Healthy

4-8" square pans lined with wax paper

Mix wet ingredients first then add 5 lbs sugar and mix . Add remaining sugar and mix again.

Divide sugar mix between 4 pans, pushing down to pack. Mixture will seem dry, that is normal. For a harder block you can bake them in the oven for 2 hours at 140 degrees.

I hope you find this helpful in some way or another. And remember, what works for some doesn't always work for others!

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page