As I write this blog we have had several days with temperatures above 16 degrees C in the last week of October and although rain is forecast for next week there is not one day where the temperature is forecast to be less than 14 degrees during the day or 8 degrees at night.

This means that bees are still very active when according to the books they should have stopped flying several weeks ago. Hives here in North Gloucestershire still have significant amounts of brood and one commercial beekeeper in Sheffield reports drones in his hives when they should all have disappeared two months ago.

This makes me think that while the foraging season has been extended and my bees are even on flowering rape at the moment these may be bad times just around the corner. We must be ready for winter to descend suddenly and without warning.

This year I think it will be even more important than usual to check stores for whilst it is great they are still bringing in nectar are there sufficient bees to process it and reduce the water content sufficiently to store it properly?

My plan is to check regularly during the winter and keep a careful eye open for probems caused by unripe honey and if necessary replace it with candy. Also ventilation will be even more important than usual with all that moisture about.

What do you think?

1 Comment

  • Nigel Phillips Posted October 30, 2011 9:47 pm

    I’m worried about the stores my hives are carrying. To keep checking means opening up the colonies during a period of Autumn when little or no pollen/nectar is being collected. Daily flying uses up energy in the colony which has to be replaced (presumably from the winter stores). Though someRape is in flower it cannot be enough or of sufficient quality to provide requisite energy. Sugar syrup or candy feed?

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