September is a vital month in the beekeepers year. This is the season for prepping your hives for the oncoming winter. Fall flowers should be providing some much needed nectar. You should also begin to see pollen coming in. I can't stress enough how important this month is. The way you treat your hive in September will determine how is fares during the winter.
Please remember that beekeeping is entirely regional. However, beekeeping management is similar during the different seasons of the year regardless of location. This months tips are for the beekeepers who are experiencing temperatures up to 100º Fahrenheit during the day and 60º-70º during the night. For Texas this is September, for other states this could be July. An overview of a seasonal beekeepers year can be found here. https://www.timbercreekapiaries.com/post/grow-your-blog-community
Now for some Tips!!
1. Combine hives that have less than 4 frames of bees. Weak hives can be combined with strong hives. Examine hives carefully in September. Failing queens should have been replaced last month, however, if you are able to fins a supplier they can be replaced now. If you are unable to find a supplier for queens this late in the season, it is best to combine it with another hive.
2. As in previous months, continue to supply water if the bees do not have access to any within 3 miles.
3. Continue to feed colonies or nucs if necessary, each hive should have about 40 lbs. of honey going into winter.
4. Consider feeding Pollen Substitute. A large majority of pollen during the fall has a very low protein content. Giving them a substitute of both syrup and pollen will help the bees develop large fat bodies to sustain them through winter.
5. When combining a weak hives, kill the weak queen before combing it with another hive. A simple way to combine hives is to place the weak hive on top of the new hive with a sheet of newspaper in between. By the time the bees have removed the newspaper they will have gotten used to each others smell.
6. Check your hive for mites and treat if necessary. It is vital to have your mite loads under control before the cold weather sets in. Many treatments will be completely ineffective in the cold.