The weather should be turning cooler which means your colony’s population will start to drop as drones are evicted from the hive. The queen will slow her rate of egg production, further dropping the colony’s numbers. Declining nectar, pollen and dropping temperatures can make bees more aggressive so be sure to adequately smoke the hive prior to inspections and pulling of honey supers.
You should be vigilant about inspecting the health of your bees during this time, and treating them as necessary for disease and parasites.
Remove all honey supers and reduce down to the bottom two deep boxes, which the bees will need to survive the winter. Check that these two boxes are full of honey to provide them with adequate food to survive the winter months. If the boxes are not full of honey, provide a pollen patty and liquid feed. Entire hive should weigh around 80 lbs if full. A suitcase scale is optimal for checking weight.
Continue checking the hive for pests and honey production until final harvest.
This will be the final time to harvest your honey crop. The ideal extraction temperature is between 75-80°F. Any colder than that will make harvesting more difficult.
Estimated time (3 hours):
- Inspect and treat for mites or other pests
- Pull all honey supers, harvest and extract honey for last time
- Check for queen’s presence
- Ensure bees have water source
- Fall feeding if bottom boxes are not full
- Tools & Clothing - as needed
- Honey Harvesting Tools & Equipment
- Feed - liquid feed and pollen patties for winter months