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Monthly Tasks - September

• Finish extracting - the sooner you do it the easier the honey will be centrifuged.
• Prepare exhibits for the Honey Show.
• Check your colonies are queen right - the brood nest will not necessarily be large but there should be some eggs, larvae and sealed brood.
• Unite weak but healthy colonies before treatment and feeding.
• Feed your bees. They will take sugar syrup down while the warm weather lasts. Check what stores they already have. If you took the supers off early in order to treat for varroa, the colony may have since put away enough stores to last through the winter, especially if you have a late flow from ivy. If the stores are less than 40 lb give sugar syrup to raise the store level to 40 lb. Avoid spillage of sugar syrup in the apiary.
• If wasps are a problem put out traps, reduce entrance access to a couple of bee bee spaces with entrance block and say foam rubber (Dunelm sells small sheets) but sticks or other materials can be used. The main aim is to give the guard bees as big an advantage as possible over wasps.
• Colonies with old queens should be re-queened by uniting to a nucleus with this year’s queen, or by introducing a new queen in a cage.
• Winter 5 frame nucs with new queens by feeding them 60% sugar syrup (in its own feeder) until the end of November. Two nucs can be sited under one roof with entrances at opposite ends.
• Clean the extracted supers by returning them to the bees then, after scraping, put them away for the winter. Watch out for mice attacking these empty frames.
• Monitor the level of varroa by counting the mites that fall onto a tray under a mesh floor. Treat with Apiguard or similar but ensure the recommended dose is followed.
• A late queen cell should be left alone as the bees may be superseding their queen. These will usually be found on the middle of the frame.

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