Check your bees have enough feed!
It is the time of year when the beekeeper looks towards the end of the season and the bees should be working for themselves after the beekeeper has taken off the honey.
However due to this years intermittent weather and the early start of the summering flowers; that have all finished flowering; and the late flowering varieties and the ivy haven’t started yet, your bees may be in danger of starvation.
The colonies are still large and eat a lot of stores, if the stores aren’t available the bees will slowly starve to death; with not enough food for the foragers to fly the colony will slowly whither and die.
Early signs are slow and listless bees during inspections, no or little brood as the Queen has gone off lay, empty stores areas on the brood combs and nibbled caps on some brood cells as the bees search for sealed stores.
Young bees may die in the cells as there isn’t any food available for them when they emerge.
The Varroa floor and the front of the hive may have piles of dead apparently healthy bees, with some grubs as these have also been apparently eaten. Not a pretty sight!
When in doubt FEED your bees!