Getting Ready For Winter

Another couple of weeks, during which Emily has headed off to University, and Lucy has gone to Marchent’s Hill with school for a week, so we’ve had a very quiet house.  But I’ve visited the bees a couple of times, mainly to do what Simon wrote about in his last entry here.  So I’ve now got the Supers beneath the Brood boxes on both hives, but once again I’ve over-engineered my woodpecker protection in comparison – mainly because I have chicken wire left over from building the chicken coop.

So last year, I had a bigger stand, and the wire could be stood on it too.  This year, all the Training Apiary hives have smaller stands that fit tightly into the base, and so I came up with this idea of using two doweling rods per hive to hold it up.  And I’ve not allowed the wire to get too close to the sides of the hive.  There ‘s a frightening photo in this month’s British Beekeeper’s Association Newsletter of a hive wrapped tightly in chicken wire, that a woodpecker just used to get a better footing when it attacked.  There’s a large missing section in the side of the brood box, with lots of comb exposed =O(  I don’t want that to happen to mine.

I also fed then thick sugar syrup again.  They seem to be lapping it up.  As you can see above, the feeder boxes are still on top of both hives.  And I removed the last of the ApiGuard, and topped up the powder in the bottom.   And that’s it.  A few more visits to feed them and check they’re OK, and we’ll be into Winter.  This Thursday is also the Fleet Beekeeper’s meeting and competition.  I’ve not decided whether to enter one of our jars of honey yet =O}


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