It's September and mite populations are peaking. If you haven't already tested your colonies, do not delay, now is the time! Bees with high mite and virus loads won't make it through the winter. Apiguard is a good fall treatment. You'll need a spacer shim for this treatment and will need to pull your honey supers before using. Formic Pro can also be used as our temperatures begin to drop.
Our queens will soon be laying the eggs that will become our colonies' winter bees. These are the bees who extend their lives and can live up to six months instead of six weeks. This is a good time to feed pollen, as we want those winter bees well nourished and healthy, since these are the bees to jump start our colonies in spring.
It's also time to monitor the capped honey stores in our hives. For our area in the foothills we typically want six frames of capped honey to overwinter. If your hives are light and lacking in stores, start feeding 1:1 sugar to water. Once it starts cooling down, you'll want to switch to 2:1 sugar to water.
Mother Nature takes control
As the Caldor Fire continues to burn, our thoughts and prayers are with all who have been impacted. We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well during these difficult times.
Temporarily back on Zoom
Unfortunately, due to the smoke and the Delta variant, our September meeting will be back on Zoom. We're hoping to be back in person for our annual honey harvest and tasting event in October. So bottle up that honey! If you need to extract, the club has extractors for use by club members. To borrow equipment contact our equipment managers Sandra Myron or Terry Valdez to make arrangements: voice or text 530.318.8015.
The Complexity of Honey
This month we welcome Becky Johnson from LEAD for Pollinators, who will be presenting on the complexity of honey. Every cell of honey within the comb is extremely complex and unique. In this presentation, you will learn about seasonal floral sources and how to examine the ecosystem your bees experience. The presentation will also provide a new view on how industrious your bees are, and why local floral variety is so important.
Join Zoom Meeting
Sunday, September 12, 4 - 6 pm
Meeting ID: 915 3527 3438
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Mite wash alternatives for alcohol
Running low on alcohol for mite washes? Randy Oliver recommends using Dawn Ultra detergent, "It works very well for mite washes and is on par with 91% isopropyl, better than 70% isopropyl, and much better than windshield fluid."
To use, dilute to 1-2 T per gallon of water. A weaker solution is less efficacious and there is no benefit to making it stronger. Allow the bees to soak in the solution for a full minute before agitation, by which time most of the mites will have dropped to the bottom of their own accord. Final agitation should be a swirl action, with no up and down shaking. Little agitation is required for basic mite monitoring.
The club has pollen patties for sale, $3 each. Placerville area, contact John Havicon at 916.996.8371, or for the Cameron Park area, contact Bernie Ruiz at 916.719.6708.
We'll "see" everyone at September's meeting.