We spend early September harvesting any extra honey that the bees provide us with, ever mindful to not take off any of the honey that is in the brood area. That is theirs, the bees in each hive will need between 70-100 pounds of honey to survive the winter. We think ahead to the long winter months, knowing that to leave any less may mean the difference between having enough to eat and starvation.
We go around to the hives after the honey is off, hefting each hive to gage its weight. If we come across any hives that are light, we will combine them with strong hives, so that they will have a better chance at survival the colder months ahead.
We treat for varoa mites, so that the bees that are in the hive in September will be healthy and care for the emerging bees that will be the winter bees. Winter bees live for up to five months before they die off, so they have to be healthy. A lot of work has gone into ensuring our bees are healthy and remain healthy, so that we can enjoy their prescence next spring.