Saturday, September 21, 2013
Some Finishing Touches Before Winter
The Goldenrod flow appears to be tapering off some now as the Asters and tickseed Sunflowers keep coming on strong. It really looks like it's going to be a good Aster year. As it is close enough to the end of September and the night temps are dropping further than they usually do this time of year, I am putting the finishing touches on the hives starting today. It's kinda got that early Winter feel to it this year and I don't want to get caught unprepared for it.
I am going through the larger hives that have more than one honey super on them and taking maybe a frame or two for a late harvest but distributing all but one surplus super to the smaller hives.
Yes this is Macro-Socialism and wealth re-distribution at the farm and bee yard level. Several of the bees were not too happy about it either let me tell you.
Really the large hives should have enough stores in their two brood chambers to carry them through Winter and I am leaving them an extra partially full surplus super as well along with all they can collect from now until cold temps keep them inside.
The hives which have not built up enough for a second brood chamber yet are now getting a honey super full of either unripened honey from their neighbors and/or comb that has been extracted and contains some honey still in the cells.
The upside to this is the smaller hives should have plenty of stores for Winter and a lot of drawn comb available to store anything they forage until they are stopped by cold temps. I also do not have to store the extracted comb myself and protect it from vermin either. The downside is that the smaller hives will now have to heat more space, but that shouldn't matter too much once I wrap the hives for Winter, and come next Spring any of these hives that survive (knock on wood) will more than likely begin laying eggs in my surplus honey supers and it will take a few weeks to coax em back down.
So now the North and West apiaries are basically taken care of for Winter and will not have to suffer through anymore of my invasions and theft raids for a while. I am still feeding about five hives and will need to place some dry patties along with Winter wraps on and remove the feeder boxes soon. I also need to put on the mouse guards and turn the entrance reducers to the smallest hole but those are all pretty non-disruptive jobs.
I still need to take care of the garden apiary as well.
It seems silly to be Winterizing and yet Fall doesn't start until tomorrow but the night time temps are dropping faster than usual and the Summer was cooler than usual as well.
Better safe than sorry
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!