it is essential that all stocks have their supers and queen excluders removed. A check should be made to ascertain that the stock is queen-right and is then treated with a varroicide to control the parasitic mite, Varroa, and feeding commenced to ensure adequate winter stores.


Feeding of colonies should, ideally, be completed by the end of September. A sugar syrup solution with a ratio of 2 lbs of sugar to 1 pint of water should be fed to ensure the stock has adequate stores to carry it through until the following spring. A rough guide is a minimum of one full frame of food for each frame of bees. As always, any nectar flow from Ivy at this time is unpredictable, but whatever, give one or two gallons of sugar syrup now, with a view to feeding a further gallon or so if the Ivy disappoints.

Finally, fit entrance blocks and give some thoughts with regard to protection if woodpeckers are likely to be a problem.