The rain returns tomorrow, and even though we’ve had amazing weather since February, it is Oregon and we can’t escape it forever. So, it’s time to get the girls ready for winter.
That means my hives need to have any empty bars/frames removed and all the brood and honey concentrated toward the center so the bees can get to it without expending too much energy. This hive started with five boxes…and here is what it looks like taken apart.
We did have a few surprises–this guy was keeping warm and dry under one hive’s cover.
And this gal had set up shop in the other. That piece of wood is 3″ tall, by the way. She was huge!
Frame with lots of capped honey.
Frame with brood.
Queenie with her girls and babies (larvae in the cells).
I also added a quilt box to this hive. This shallow top box has holes around it to help ventilate the hive. I filled it with some burlap and bark chips to absorb any moisture from the hive during the winter. If the moisture can’t either be absorbed or vent out, it can condense and “rain” ice water back down on the bees–an unsurvivable situation.
We’re back to just three boxes (a smaller space also means less for the bees to heat) and ready for winter!