Friday, November 5, 2010

Closing down for winter 2010

Once again we are having an Indian summer and its lovely for us, temperatures are a barmy 14'C for this week so far which is way above the seasonal average for October - November. As a result the girls have all been working solidly collecting as much pollen and nectar as they can for winter. During September I fed them then treated them with Apigard, however as of next year I will solely use thymol for varroa control on the recommendation of a very good bee keeper and friend.

Closing Down
On Tuesday Clare and I went to visit the two apiaries to removed all the queen excluder's and any other excess equipment I had stored above some of the colonies. The main reason for this is to reduce the hives down to minimal size and profile. We sliced up a 12.5Kg lump of fondant into about 2 KG lumps and wrapped it in greaseproof paper and cut a slit and placed the slit over the hole in the crown board and finally wished them each good luck.

I may need to buy another box of fondant, although they will be loosely clustered at the moment they are still fairly active, ideally I would like the temperature to drop to around 4'C which is said to be the optimal temperature to ensure the colony remains clustered.