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!