So last week, my little girl was in the school play. =)
Followed by a cold. Apparently, it something that most of the cast got. =(
But today, I started putting my bees to bed for the winter. I'm a little late, I know, but better late than never! I had to wait until around 1 in the afternoon for the temperature to get above 50 degrees, so I didn't freeze my girls. I brought mouse guards, bottom boards, and sugar blocks. (in the bag)
Starting on the Wild hive, I opened it and removed the syrup feeder, and this is what I saw:
Top super, full of honey! Yay! Middle and bottom supers have nothing. No bees, no nothing.
Bottom board is on and, after removing the empty supers, here's what's left:
Next, we move to Dave's girls. Open the top, lift the syrup feeder, aaannd... Nothing? Uh-oh!
Oh, here's the reason why. They just hate the queen excluder. I think next year, I'll put them under the hives. See if that stops them from swarming.
This is the shallow super, the one that the wax kept melting out of. They've fixed it up, but none of it is straight. I popped that poky-out bit off, and pushed the larger waves down a bit. I would have pulled the frames, and replaced them for next year, but this shallow is where they have all their stored honey.
The deep has nothing stored, but it was full of bees. Unlike the other hive.. So, I left it there with the shallow honey super. I don't think that they will have enough food for winter, I'll have to feed them as often as I can.
This is a deep frame, just an inch of honey on one side, and empty cells beneath.
Here's a better shot of that frame. So very empty.
After the extra supers were removed, bottom boards put on, and sugar candy boards put on- I screwed on the mouse guards. Not a bad day. =)
I was asked while I was there why I was taking away the empty boxes, so I thought I'd share here too.
Since bees generate their own heat, it's easier for them to heat a smaller space rather than a larger empty one. Think of a small space heater in a large room, doesn't do much good there, does it? But that same small space heater will work wonders for warming up a small bathroom.
If they had honey stores in several supers, I would have left them on. As they would walk around, eating that honey all winter. But heating an empty space for no return, just makes them work harder and use more of their stored honey for no good reason.
Hopefully, next week will be warm enough to go tuck in the rest of the hives!