Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winterizing

With the very warm temps this week the bees have been very active.  Lots of flying out.  Lots of housekeeping as they remove dead bees.  I have a mouse guard on the entrance to keep the mice out, but it makes housekeeping hard.  On warm days I have been removing it so the bees can work better.  It is hard to shove a dead bee out the little holes.  But I believe the bees are ready for winter.  It appears that they have quite a bit of honey stored, mostly in the center frames.  I saw a very active queen last inspection. She hatched from a supercedure cell after the last swarm. Not a lot of brood, but some.  Back in October I moved a few empty frames closer to the center to see if they could fill them for winter.  I have had a hive top feeder on since the late swarm.  In the feeder is a very thick syrup with a vitamin additive and one filling included fumigilan for disease control.  During the hurricane I had them all strapped down so if they blew over they would at least stay together.  But no wind to speak of here.  Thank goodness.  And no branches down on them either. 

I am hearing reports of a bear, which concerns me.  Apparently a neighbor, about 1/4 mile away went out to scare a raccoon off his porch, and realized that the eyes shining in the dark were set a little too high for a raccoon.  Bear.  Last year I had a bear in my yard one time that I know of.  He broke down a bird feeder right next to the front room windows and then ambled up the hill

Still to do:  build some kind of windbreak around the hive, take off the feeder, put in some "bee patties" for food, and put the big top with the slate roof back on (It will be good insulation and the snow will slide off better.) 

And while I'm down at the back of the yard I mean to clear a little more brush so our sledding hill will be ready for winter fun.  It is a good ride all the way from the house down, until you hit a tree.  But on the bright side, the trees keep us from going into the pond.

I am blogging now on the new iMac.  I hope we will see some improvement in the quality of my blog.  I am having trouble figuring out how Mac is categorizing all my photos.  Not alphabetical, not strictly chronological.  So for now I am going to post this picture less just to get myself going again.  

Template by Pink + Lola