Autumn Preparations

Highlighting: Seasonal Beekeeping Advice

Date(s) - 10/01/2019 - 11/30/2019
All Day

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Signs of the Season

  • Evening temperatures below 50°F
  • Limited flower bloom

Activity in the Hive

  • Brood rearing declines/stops
  • Drones removed from the hive
  • Long-lived winter bees produced
  • Final honey flow

Beekeeper’s Checklist

☐ Perform last varroa measurement before winter
☐ Decide to harvest honey or leave it for winter feed
☐ Ensure honey stores are at least 50 pounds per hive
☐ Feed sugar water if inadequate honey stores
☐ Look for some pollen – one or two frames
☐ Remove totally empty drawn-comb frames
☐ Discard empty comb frames older than 3-5 years
☐ Store empty comb with “para-moth” or in a freezer
☐ Condense hive to two or three boxes
☐ Arrange boxes and frames with pollen and nectar frames on bottom and honey on top
☐ Remove queen excluders
☐ Install entrance reducers (smallest opening)
☐ Attend TBA annual meeting and educational seminars

Potential Problems

  • Robbing behavior – install entrance reducers
  • Weak hive – combine with a strong hive


  • Are there enough bees (at least 20 frames) to cluster?
  • Where will I store removed empty comb?
  • Which hive had the best queen so I can use her in queen rearing?


Credit: THBEA NewBee Brochure 2018