Fall Treatment

I finished treating the hives this morning.  It was a bit cool (71 degrees) and overcast, and the bees were a bit testy.  It seems there is always at least one who takes her guarding very seriously and has to get in my face to let me know it.  No stings, but a couple tried in my shirt.  This is the final treatment I will do with hopguard, and will switch next year to Apivar.  I did put a sheet below the screen in the bottom board of hive #2, my most vigorous hive, and after 3 days there were very few mites on the sticky sheet, fewer than 50 after more than 3 days.  I'll be happy with that anytime.

 The hives all look good.  You may not be able to see in the photo above, but each hive has a top box full of capped honey, quite heavy.  This plus additional honey below should be adequate stores for the winter.  Also, each hive is still producing brood. Pulling a frame from hive #1, I saw the queen down in the box on the side of another frame. This is the first I've seen her since introducing her earlier this spring.

In the honey supers, we will get another two full boxes to harvest as a minimum.  We still have the goldenrod plus clover is still going pretty strong.
Other plants are thriving as well, as you can see in the photo with Kathy above and the incredible sunflower plant near our black raspberries.  I plant a number of varieties of sunflower, but even my mammoths can't compare with this gem.  The goldfinches will love it and I need to make sure I get plenty of seeds from it to plant next year.  Don't know if the bees like it, but it's very impressive nonetheless.


  1. Wow! That sunflower is huge! Do you eat the seeds? I wonder if we will have an early fall. At this point will you still be able to get more honey from your hives or will you be leaving it for winter? I am happy to read your batch of bees are doing well and not having too many issues with mites, they'll be strong for winter for sure :)

  2. Michelle,
    yes, that sunflower is something. The heads are not as large as on my mammoths but the sheer height is something--at least 12 feet and strong as a tree. We let the goldfinches get the seeds, as they're so beautiful this time of year. As for the fall, I've seen trees here in eastern Iowa showing some color already. Crazy.


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