September 2016 Tips from the President


Greetings from your WCBA president. My intent is to give pertinent beekeeping tips to you each month so that you will be able to plan the work that needs to be accomplished to keep your bees healthy, strong and productive. These tips are based on the timeline and the way I keep bees. The new president may provide new or different methods. If you ask 10 beekeepers a question you will get at least 11 different answers. ???????? My final thoughts.

September 2016: This is the time of the year that we receive the rewards for all the work done throughout the year with our bees. All honey supers should be off the colony. This will provide the bees to back fill the brood box with honey for winter. You should continue to monitor the status of the colony by lifting the back of the hive to estimate the amount of honey stored, it should feel heavy. You can compare this weight by lifting the back of an empty hive setup the same as the one you are checking. I will have an empty hive at the next meeting for you to get the feel of an empty hive. Your bees will need approximately 80 pounds of honey to make it thru the winter.

I suggest that you treat your bees for mites. I use the oxalic acid vaporization method. This method does not harm the bees but kills all mites that come in contact with the vapors. The treatment should be repeated every 12 to 14 days in order to get the mites that were in sealed cells. The reports indicate that this method has been successful in reducing the mite population, making it possible for the treated colony to survive the winter.

Weak colonies should be evaluated for possible survival. Combine weak colonies using the newspaper method. Be sure to pinch the weakest queen, if you don’t, you may lose both queens in the resulting battle of the queens.

If you want to Learn more about beekeeping, attend our club meetings where seasoned beekeeper share their knowledge and experiences. Come and join us, we would love to share.

Thank you for your contributions to the club and for supporting me as your president. The new officers and board members are strong members and plan to continue the program that has been set in place. You as a club member must let the officers hear from you as to what you want to be presented at the meetings, they cannot read your minds. The schedule for these programs is set early in the year, let them hear from you if you have an idea for a program, or don’t complain.

Howard “Howdy” Martsolf

Past WCBA President