The day length is now just under 12 hours, the oppressive summer heat, and the daily evening thunderstorms have finally begun to wane. October in Florida, Fall is here! Time to get back out into nature, go for a brisk hike, and spend some time out on a lake. And, what should beekeepers have on their calendar this month?
North Florida, these cooler days with less rain will give you an opportunity to paint spare boxes, clean up old frames, and re-wax any of the plastic foundation and frames that you had to scrape clean after your summer dead-outs. We carry plenty of clean beeswax for this purpose, our prices vary on the quantity and the color of the wax chosen.
Central Florida beekeepers, you should still have an eye on your colonies for potential swarming, and you’ll want to make sure they’re not plugging themselves up as the Brazilian Pepper and Golden Rain Tree honey flow continues through the early part of the month. Add honey supers as needed. Also, if you have doubled up your brood boxes to take advantage of the extra brood made during the honey flow, now would be the time to make your splits. Though, you may want to check in with us to see if we have queens available before doing so. Walk away splits are not recommended as it will take nearly 60 days before new workers hatch from the new queen, placing you squarely in December when there is typically a natural brood break.
South Florida beekeepers, the honey flow is coming to a close, time to start checking those supers to see how well they’ve been capped. Prepare your extraction equipment and harvest as soon as the crop is ready to pull. We carry an assortment of extracting tools and the Lyson brand extractors if you are in need of a new extractor.
It cannot be stressed more, beekeepers in all regions of Florida should continue monitoring their varroa mite infestation levels and treat their apiaries if the 3 mites per 100 bees threshold has been reached. Honey bees come in contact with each other and the mites more often during honey flows. This means infested bees pass mites between each other, bringing more mites to your hives whether you treated for mites recently or not. Beekeepers in Central and South Florida should be especially concerned this time of year as the Brazilian Pepper and Golden Rain Tree honey flow will wrap up this month. Potentially leaving honey bee colonies with higher mite counts than before the honey flow started in September. North Florida Beekeepers should still check their mite levels and treat accordingly. With cooler days at hand and ahead Apiguard would be a good choice for your Fall varroa mite treatment, especially if your last treatment was with Apivar or Hopguard 3.
What’s in Bloom?
North Florida: Bush Aster, Golden Rain Tree, Goldenrod, Mexican Clover, Primrose Willow, Smartweed, Spanish Needle, Spotted Mint, Vine Aster
Central Florida: Brazilian Pepper, Bush Aster, Golden Rain Tree, Goldenrod, Mexican Clover, Primrose Willow, Smartweed, Spanish Needle, Spotted Mint, Vine Aster
South Florida: Brazilian Pepper, Melaleuca, Mexican Clover, Primrose Willow, Smartweed, Spanish Needle