My second year. First with success. I started with 2 packages. Made a split and caught a swarm. And now have four hives. Im in north central illinois.its september 9 and its geting cooler out. Im need to know what to do next.
How many hive bodies for each hive? How much honey do they have stored? The big thing now is to make sure they have adequate honey stores for winter. It's time to start feeding. Probably 2:1 sugar syrup would be good. You may also want to give some pollen sub if they need to build up numbers. Feed now so that the daytime temps are still warm enough for them to take the syrup. You should also determine whether you will need to provide any insulation for the bees, or wrap the hives. This depends on how cold it gets in your location, how much wind, etc. The big issue for winter, aside from having enough food, is moisture. Its not the cold as much as moisture that will kill the bees. Make sure there is some way for moist air to vent from the top of the hive. You can use an inner cover with a notch, make an airspace between the inner cover and hive body with a thin shim, or drill a hole in the upper hive body (personally not a favorite for me). Another alternative, if you have the equipment or want to buy it, is to create a quilt box to absorb moisture. You can use an extra super on top of the inner cover (put some screen over the hole so bees can't get up) and fill the super with a few inches of absorbent material--newspaper, shredded cloth, wood chips, etc.
Have you checked for varroa? If not, look it up on here or elsewhere and do so, as otherwise it will weaken the bees and they will have a hard time making it through winter. There are a number of treatments you can use, but research it and follow through.
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