On the 7th of October 2012 I have decided to take away the feeder and leave my bees to fend for themselves throughout the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Which they will hopefully manage to see for themselves. It has really turned cold, we had -3 the other night, Autumn has arrived.
Although I din’t manage to do as many sugar dusting treatments as I was hoping too, I have not found Varroa mites on the floor. They have been fed and robbed so not sure how much in total but before I closed them I had a quick look and their stores look good. Not counting the robbing, just in Sept and October they were given 10kg of sugar. Considering that they have arrived as a swarm without stores they are not doing bad at all.
Winter set up is, Varroa floor left with a gap under the mesh flooring, entrance reduced, super “eye hole” blocked, the rest as usual.
Every now and again I go and check and listen, they are not making too much sound, when it warms up they still fly out, much later in the day thought.
For future olbas oil or vick work, I put a little bit on the entrance and around it, it discourages the robbing bees and they fly off. My own don’t seem to mind it.
Fingers crossed it all works out. They seem like a nice bunch and I will try my hardest to make life easy for them.