Do your bees have sufficient stores?

The recommended amount of stores for a hive going into winter is 60 to 80 pounds of honey (80 is better).  That translates into at least one deep completely full or at least 15 medium frames full of honey.  In many areas of PA, the summer drought resulted in very little fall nectar flow, so check your colonies for stores.  If they are light, feed heavy syrup (2 parts sugar and 1 part very hot water).  The goal is to feed as quickly as possible.  The rush is that bees need to process the sugar syrup as they would nectar.  They must convert the sugar (from sucrose to fructose and glucose) and evaporate the excess water. Once the weather is cold, the bees cannot process liquid feed; excess moisture in the hive during the winter can lead to winter losses. This week’s unseasonably warm weather will allow bees to process sugar syrup. If you colonies are light, feed now.

Also, if you haven’t installed mouse guards yet, now is the time.

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