My bees gave me a bit of a scare recently, but all is well. Hive 1 is amazing and the workers zoom in and out as if it’s spring-time rather than autumn – with major honey stores to prove it. Hive 2 is queen-right and there is some good brood in the hive with the colony collecting pollen and nectar in great quantities and converting a lot of that nectar to honey – way more honey than they’ll need for winter. Hive 3, with the new, young queen, is growing; more activity, more brood and some honey. All is right in my little bee garden.
Winter is just around the corner, whether my bees want to accept it or not. In Sydney, there isn’t a serious winter, but, all the same, the days are shorter and the nights are colder so the bees slow down. To help the colonies through the next few months, we’ve taken the simple step of placing a hive mat (a sheet of linoleum) between the lower and upper supers. The linoleum helps stop heat loss and allows the bees to stay toasty in their brood and 1 super. There’s space around the linoleum to allow the bees access to the top super in case there’s a sudden flow on, plus the bees can keep the comb free from wax moth which is something I’m unable to do (short of storing the frames in a freezer).
That’s the full extent of my winter prep. Beekeeping is a breeze in Sydney and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Your close-up of the bees on the honeycomb is lovely and the frame of honey looks delicious. I shouldn’t be thinking greedy thoughts about their winter stores.
The close-up shows a drone (love those big eyes) right in the middle. I guess that shows how much surplus my bees have and how confident they are that they will be harvesting more nectar since they haven’t killed off all the drones. We spotted several on the brood frames. But still, you shouldn’t covet their winter stores!
Wow! Easiest Winter prep I’ve ever heard of! 🙂
I bet we didn’t even need to do that much. These bees have a cruisy life in my back yard.
It must feel good to have them all set up and ready for the winter.
It does. And it’s nice to know all hives are queen right and looking healthy.
Amazing, a well done to both you and the bees.
Thanks, I’ll pass on your praise to the apiary 😉
Well done Laura, you did amazing! (ok the bees helped a little!) xxx
The bees didn’t so much help, as not hinder. They just buzzed about wondering what in the world I was doing. I imagine they spent the next few hours speculating what that linoleum is supposed to be good for 🙂
the best bit is you get to eat that yummy honey! xxxxxx will we get some yummy recipes, I have a nice one for honey biccies with honey baked custard for a pud, I’ll grab the details and pass them on if you haven’t got one already that is! xxxx
Pass it on for sure. I’m converting a lot of my recipes for muffins and cakes to using honey, but if you have anything good, send it my way. You can never have too many honey recipes!
ok Laura I will. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
So glad all is well. Beautiful photos as usual.