I have been struggling to find some time to do final inspections and treat the last few hives in the home apiary. With the evenings closing in and the temperatures not very high by the time I get home it was getting difficult to finish them off.
But yesterday the home apiary at the bottom of the field finally got finished. I managed to get through 5 hives on Monday evening and finished the other 8 yesterday afternoon. It’s too late for treating with Apiguard so I used MAQS which are not so temperature reliant. All the colonies have laying queens except the commercial hive. I will need to take another more detailed look in a few days and see if the colony is truly queen-less, if it is I can unite it with another hive.
The pic below shows how strong these langstroth hives are going into the winter, the boxes are stuffed with honey after coming home from the heather and the queen is still laying on 6 frames, including both sides of this one on the outside. This would never happen in a wooden hive as the outer frames would be too cold to support raising young bees. Nice brood pattern too!
So overall I’m pretty happy with all the hives going into the winter, most are pretty strong and have young healthy laying queens.
All the hives in the out apiaries are all ready for winter with all final inspections carried out. All have laying queens with good levels of stores to get through the winter and if the ivy ever decides to flower and we get a few nice days they will bring in some more honey and pollen to top up their reserves.
Although there are 2 in Ballycullen that I need to keep an eye on as they are light in stores but the ivy should help them and if not I will have to feed them in a couple of weeks and give them a boost to make sure they have enough for the winter.