I am always a bit sad this time of year, not checking my bees regularly. Assuming that you have done all of your preparations for the winter, it is best just to let the bees get on with it without any disturbances. Opening the hive only unsticks the propolis that insulates and glues the hive together. My interaction with the bees will be limited to removing the last Apiguard tray, and maybe adding some fondant where I think it is needed. Don’t be tempted to feed syrup now as it will be difficult for the bees to reduce the water content down to store and use during the winter months.
What’s going on in the hive?
The older bees will have started to die out and the new young bees bred in September and October will sustain the colony through the long winter months. The queen will still lay eggs through the winter, so you should see bees bringing in pollen on warmer days.
The drones will by now have been ejected from the hives as they no longer serve a purpose.
What’s in the larder?
Things are beginning to die back now but I still have a few plants trying to make a show! My rudbeckia and Verbena bonariensis soldier on and one of my buddleias has decided to flower again. The ivy has started to flower and the buzzing from it is amazing, there are bees, wasps, hornets and flies feasting on it. Also a small patch of cyclamen has appeared.
Enjoy your beekeeping… now onto cleaning up all that kit, and preparing for the Autumn shows!