The late summer for honey bees is a very stressful time of year. Usually around this time mite infestations begin, honey is harvested, and the colony begins to condense. This is also a stressful time of year for the beekeeper, because a lot of important decisions are made regarding the colony's health and these decisions will impact the survival of the hive.
This past weekend we went into the hives to check on their overall wellbeing. We were specifically looking for an abundance of honey, pollen and all stages of brood. Both hives looked good- each with a full honey super and brood. This is also the time where we have to decide if it's smart to harvest honey. It must be kept in mind that bees need a full honey super to get through the winter, or else they have to be fed sugar water.
Both hives looked healthy as far as diseases, but varroa mites cannot be seen. We are planning to treat for them in the next couple weeks, as they are inevitable.