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October Bees 2014

I have photos and a few videos from the end of summer that I planned to post here in various blogs, but I guess I'll have to play catch-up as the year concludes. I've been rather buried in the university life, bee duties, and family excitement. The overall honey season turned out to be rather mediocre, though not a disaster. It was just too cool and wet during the prime honey-making weeks that followed my previous post. I'm already through mite treatments for 2014, but this fall has been even worse than fall 2013 in terms of honey collection for overwintering. Thank goodness I'm setup with dual division board feeders in just about all of my colonies this year. That was a lesson well-learned after seeing some starvation during the last winter. A good number of hives will have consumed and stored 80 lbs of feed before they're set to go for this winter. I'm getting close to optimistic going into the next winter. Supposedly the arctic vortex will remain at bay, and my bees are starting to look really good. Here is a video from this afternoon that shows good populations in some of my dark Carniolan hives, and there are a few yellow Italian colonies at this location too:
If the bees look half this good in March, I will feel good about spring 2015.

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