November & December 2020
Maintaining equipment is part of beekeeping. These boxes have been removed from the hives, I clean them and then put them in the basement for storage until next year.
Freezer full of frames. Used frames don't need to stay permanently in a freezer. However, if there has been wax with brood, nectar, pollen or honey in the frames, then the frames should be frozen for a minimum of 72 hours before storing.
Preparing quilt boxes. I'm still not convinced that a thick layer of insulation underneath the telescoping lid, isn't the way to go. But I have these, so I'm using them.
I call this 'putting the hives to bed'. The hives have been reduced to the minimum size, all the sugar water has been removed, and the quilt boxes have been placed on top. The weather is consistently dropping into the 40s at night. I won't be going through the hives anymore until spring time. This doesn't mean I won't feed the colonies.......once the coldest weather finishes and the days start to warm, I will begin to feed the colonies. No more inspections in the brood box until day time temps are 57F. Compared with last year, I have significantly less honey in each colony (because last year I didn't harvest). I don't know how these colonies will fare; I will continue with my due diligence to give these bees the best odds for success. Proper nutrition, good queens, sound shelter, mite control, strong colonies.......will help.
It's December 12, 2020 and unseasonably warm this weekend (nearly 60 degrees today). Do you see the honey bee on the camellia flower packing pollen?
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