the bee hives have been a challenge. as you know, i hived a few swarms and also raided some feral hives and had 6 hives by july.
turns out the feral hives, just havent grown as hoped, and i have combined them over time, hoping that combining the hives will give them a critical mass to survive the winter. so i am now down to 5 hives - not that i am complaining, mind you.
i have been treating the hives with powdered sugar, to protect against varroa mites. my goal is to follow organic methods for the hives - as i have for the garden. there is some scientific evidence to suggest that the sugar kicks off the bees cleaning activity, which results in more mites getting cleaned out.
next up will be honey extraction the weekend of september 11 and at that time i will treat the hives w/ thymol and other essential oils to assist with varroa eradication - but in an organic method.