October Ox and Angela Progress Summary
The warm, sunny weather this fall has been a treat for all Calgarians and a huge benefit to the Ox and Angela hive. The mild weather made it possible to give the colony a few extra mite treatments to try and get the population down to more manageable levels. Though there are still mites, the hive seems to be in better condition and ready for the start of winter. It also allowed the A.B.C beekeepers to feed the hive a little longer to help with the stress of treatment and to bolster the hive’s winter stores. Though it’s preferable for colonies to use honey for sustenance, sugar syrup and other sugar-based feedings are a common and sometimes necessary choice to ensure a hive’s chances of survival. However, care must be taken as improper feeding has the potential to do more harm than good.
Bees should be fed outside of nectar flows to ensure that the sugar is taken up and not left to ferment or attract pests. Fall in particular can be tricky time to feed because there is a risk of encouraging robbing from other bees or wasps. It is also critical to ensure that the honey produced from the sugar has time to properly cure in the cells before cold weather sets in. If it doesn’t cure properly it creates humidity in the hive, which can produce chills and potentially deadly ice build up.
Though the Ox hive is not as strong as it could be, the extra fall help and slow start to winter should start them off on the right foot and give the bees a fighting chance in the winter ahead. If the season is kind, the Ox and Angela bees should be back for another season at the River Run bee yard.