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Fall is the time to harvest honey.

September and October are harvest time for honey. Mistakes here can be costly to the bee population. The longer northern winter requires more feed and more care of the hive. After harvest, at least 60 pounds of honey should be left in the hive. If there is a shortage of honey for the bees, fall feeding is essential. The following feed should be given:

Syrup: Mix sugar and water half and half in very warm water and place in a one-quart container which is the feeder jar. Punch six holes in the jar lid with a 6-penny nail. Then invert the jar over the hive or in front of the hive in a saucer. Feed one to two gallons of this mixture during the warmer days, or after heavy frost.

Placing patties over frames in hives: Patties are two parts powdered sugar to one part of Crisco or store brand solid vegetable shortening.

Most bee losses occur in the spring, February and March, at brood-rearing time when honey is used up. To prevent starvation, feeding is critical at this time, as is feeding during a long period of poor weather (cold or wet) in the spring. Patties should be placed over the brood continually. Use five patties or more per hive, replacing them every three months.

In spring and fall (before cold weather sets in), fumidil medicine in syrup form should also be given. Be sure to follow the directions carefully. Fumidil can be purchased at Mann Lake, phone 1-800-233-6663.

Giving the bees winter protection is very important by placing the hive inside a building if possible, with access to the outside. This protects the bees from wet, cold and wind and greatly increases their survival over winter.

Apistan strips work very well in winter and are a good idea for the beginner to use on his bees, although the strips are a little expensive. I don't use them extensively now, as good management seems to take their place.

Bees require little care, but if the need arises, knowing what to do is very important. The magazine, Bee Culture, is one of the best sources for beginners. It is very informative, helpful in answering questions and a real necessity for all types of beekeeping for either the hobbyist or commercial beekeeper. Call 1-800-289-7668, extension 3220, for a subscription or information on the Bee Culture magazine.

I have had experience in beekeeping for many years in the northeast, along Lake Erie and the Appalachian Mountain areas, and I will be glad to assist anyone who wishes to start the hobby of beekeeping, especially seniors.

Watching bees is a very rewarding study in nature for anyone. If you should get stung by a honeybee, it is usually your own fault, although they do become somewhat testy if sickness or stressful conditions exist. Remember that most stings come from yellow jackets and most people cannot tell the difference -- so honeybees take the blame.

If you have questions, write or call me. Send an SASE for my reply.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Countryside Publications Ltd.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:beekeeping tips
Author:Fedorchuck, Frank
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1997
Words:504
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