Well the warm weather is almost gone and with it comes the winter preparations for each hive. Despite the fact that the bees have been looking after themselves for thousands of years, we humans have become part of the cycle in our domesticated bee colonies, and as such, there is a list of preparations that must be done to ensure survivability.
The list below is my list, and what works for me :) here in Nova Scotia.
- make sure each hive is tilted slightly forward to allow adequate drainage
- add fondant patty to those hives that are low on stores of honey
- put entrance reducers on
- add 1 inch insulation to the top cover and under the outer cover, making sure that the vent hole in the inner cover is free
- clean up the general area under the hives
- wrap the hive stand in tar paper to eliminate winter drafts under the hive
The video below was taken Nov 2nd, it is about 9C outside and as you can see, there is lots of activity taking place. Note that I have the entrance narrowed down to about 1 inch for the winter, helps stop the drafts.
Next steps are to wrap the bottom legs in tar paper and then add bee cosy's to the actual hive.
For my clients that have "Adopt a Hive" hives in their backyard, I will be by in the next week or so to finalize winter prep.
And finally, hope that your hives are strong enough to make it through the winter.
Check out the NS Beekeepers Association page for an excellent article on winterizing a hive.
UPDATE 11 NOV 16
The bee cosy's are now installed. :) Tar paper on the bottom to close in the stand, and bee cosy's on the hives