It is the time of year to prep your hive for the winter months ahead. Your goal is to raise fat bees that will overwinter in the hive for the next 5-6 months. There is interesting reading on the web about vitellogenin and overwintering bees.
Harvest honey at the end of August, first of September and remove queen excluder.
Varroa mite treatment program. Check your hive for mite levels and if you find you have no mites then check again! Go to DATCP Varroa mite treatment and see the recommended options for mite control in Wisconsin (https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/TreatmentOptions.pdf). After you have finished your mite treatment protocol, you may want to check for mites again just to be sure your mite treatment worked — brood timing can be a glitch and resistance exists!
Check your hive for pollen supplies. If you don’t see much pollen, you might want to add a pollen substitute for the bees. Check out the pollen substitute article by Randy Oliver (https://scientificbeekeeping.com/a-comparative-test-of-the-pollen-sub/). If you are going to feed pollen patties, use winter pollen patties.
Feed the bees heavy syrup to assure that they have enough food to get them through the winter months.
Decide if you are going to wrap your hives in a cozy or cover it with a pillow or a 2 inch polystyrene hat.
Last, but not least, be sure to put on a mouse excluder just before the first frost; be sure to check that you have not enclosed a mouse family inside the hive (been there and done that).
See you at the meeting September 20th.