Oxford Bees

Preparing for winter

Submitted by will on Sun, 25/09/2016 - 20:39

I seem to have taken a break since the end of August. Today I sorted looked in on the bees.

They won't have been swarming so late in the season so there won't have been much doing (I think) besides a nectar flow from the Ivy. If they fill their stores with Ivy honey it won't be terrible (except that  Ivy sets hard).

I have some eke's (low rise boxes usually used to house feeders). I've stapled some hessian into them and filled the cavity with straw. I wanted sawdust but it wasn't available. These are supposed to insulate the roof of each hive.

I took a look at the out apiary and hefted the hives. Hive D is feeling heavy. I put one an eke on top, hoping that it will be the last time I disturb them until spring.

Hive C is feeling heavy too, but Hive B is light. I'll feed them, but I'm unsure whether this colony will ever be successful. The queen (which I saw some months ago) looked beautiful. It would be ideal to swap this colony from Hive E, which was another feral which I took at the end of July. Hive E looks vigorous and ready to survive the winter already.

Back at home I looked in on Hive E. I'd given them the empty boxes after the honey harvest to clean up. It was done. The insulating eke is on and (I hope) they're also ready for winter.