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Honey Do Beekeeping Checklist for September

September is an odd month because the weather is so unpredictable. It can be in the upper 90’s and humid or it can be 40°F and dry. As a beekeeper, it’s important to prepare for all of these scenarios. Understand that as the weather changes dramatically, your bees become frustrated because, like you, they are trying to adapt their plans for the coming weeks. Be patient with your bees, and they will respect you during your interactions.

This is a great time to begin looking back at each of your inspections in the Healthy Hive™ Management Software to determine how well your season is going.  It will help you determine how much effort you need to put into making sure your colony survives the winter.

CHECKLIST

  • Suggestion: When it’s hot, the bees can be a little more ornery than usual. Plan inspections during cooler weather rather than super hot days. 
  • Observation: Bearding and fanning are normal behaviors by the doors.  
  • Action: Be sure to open the vent board according to the guidelines. You can find videos and instructions in Beepods Lab 
  • Provide water, both inside the hive and outside of the hive. Fill the feeder jar with straight water and place it inside the hive. Set up a birdbath, rain barrel, or kiddie pool with corks in it for the bees to land on outside the hive
  • Replace the water often (every day or so), and keep the water fresh. Droughts affect bees more significantly than other creatures, so keep this in mind during weeks with little to no rain
  • Observation: Comb production slows significantly. 
  • Action: Limit the number of new bars you add to the hive
  • Observation: Bees produce significant amounts of honey and the build the bars wider. Pay attention to this using the following guidelines and always record your data in the Healthy Hive™ Management Software
    1. Mark connected bars with an X to remind yourself that they should be moved as if they are a single bar
    2. If there are wide bars that are not attaching to the bars next to them, add spacer bars around them and note this in your Inspection Forms and Software
  • As the hive begins to reach capacity, remove a few bars of honey and store them in the Harvest Box. Your Harvest Box should be stored in a cool, dry area, safe from pests. If you are unsure about pests, plug the entrances and tape the sides to limit their ability to invade
  • Observation: Watch for honey stores in general. Assess for the need to feed. If the bees struggle to fill comb with honey, we recommend our honey tea recipe, which can be found on Beepods Blog.
This checklist was created for beekeepers specifically in Midwest, USA.  It may need to be adjusted for other beekeepers based on weather, location and other environmental factors.  This list will be updated and variations will be created over time as needed.  If you would like to help with the development of these checklists, please, contact us. 
Always be sure to check Beepods.com for updated lists or information in the Members Resource Area.
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