Beekeeping Blog

Autumn Chill and Indoor Action 2019

This week we spent a couple of days organizing our indoor bee life. The intro image shows the process of packing away the honey boxes now that the temperature has fallen enough to deter wax moths. It feels strange to be paying attention to buttoning up for winter after so many months concentrated on squeezing as much significant bee time in our lives as possible. We redirected some energy since the bees are putting down their most recent grocery delivery, and it was a combination of chilly and wet for a few days too. The overnight low was right around freezing this morning. We’re definitely going through a sharp transition into crisp weather.

The cool down will also trigger a swift deterioration of some clusters that we found doubtful on the last round or with problems that we may not have detected. Sadly there are always boxes to pick up when fall hive attrition makes itself apparent. I don’t think autumn losses will be very bad since the bees are still looking strong overall. There is still a fair amount of feeding to prop up some hives in the next two weeks, but we’ve made a lot of progress. Entrance block installation is also a significant project for that timeframe. The mice get excessively eager to turn our equipment into winter abodes once the highs start to stall in the 50s F.

The pallets of boxes are stacked two high and three deep in this building. At least there is an alley for the Bobcat!

We also made a natural lumber accent wall for the bee suits. They needed more organization, and I figured the clear coats we applied over the stain would be a good surface that can resist the stickiness and grime that somehow find their way onto our protective apparel!

Grace performing the precision side of this project!
Suits at the ready!

Next week will be much more action in the bee yards. Hopefully we see hives that make us happy!

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