Oct 31 2016
A week ago on the only day we had without rain, I got the girls ready for winter. We have had rain steadily for a week, then there was a break about 9 days ago, then rain steadily. We have already broken the record for the rainiest October ever in this area.
I went ahead and closed up each of the hives entrances down further with the wire mesh so there is only about 2-3″ of opening left to get in and out. I’ll still be able to remove the push pins in the winter and pull back the wire hardcloth if I need to sweep dead bees from the bottom of the hive during the winter.
I then measured and wrapped each hive in heavy duty roofing paper. I pulled it tight around the top, putting the top edge of the roofing paper just exactly under the telescoping lid and then using a construction stapler I stapled the paper down tight along the top edge at the corners and in the middle. Then I staple the seam down the back of the hive tight.
With the paper right under the roof eaves and tight up against the box, I shouldn’t get rain down between the paper and the hive. Just in case, I leave the bottom of the paper wrap loose so that any moisture could flow down and get out.
I made sure that the upper entrances were free and bees were getting in and out. And I trimmed the paper at the bottom so that the girls can get in and out of the bottom entrance freely. I always leave the bottom screened board as a screen instead of closing it off for ventilation.
I then put a piece of rigid insulation bigger than the hive cover on each hive and weighed it down with a big cement block or brick.
Waa-laaah. Ready for winter. If we start to get a lot of snow, I’ll put a rigid piece of insulation on the top of the back of the stand to keep snow and wind from coming in that way, but I’ll keep the bottom sides of the hive stands open for ventilation.
Here’s a video of the purple hive girls in slo-mo going in and out on their last sunny day in a long while.
There were already a pile of dead bees in front of each hive – the girls cleaning out the hard working little foragers that died. Go to Valhalla little warriors.
Comments Off on Girls are ready for winter