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Winter finalization

The tan hive is double walled and has an insulated cover, so it did not need further winterization. I put two towels in the top of the blue hive and wrapped its sides and back with Reflectix insulation and tar paper. The front I left as is because it has the porch roof, and since it has a windbreak I think the lack of insulation in the front makes little difference. When I opened the top cover, I only saw bees around the middle inner cover. It was cold, so I do not know where they were clustering. The back inner cover did have some mold on it. I put a towel on top of that to help absorb excess moisture. I think there is enough ventilation in that hive, but I guess spring will tell. There is nothing to be done at this point in the season, we just keep an eye over the winter for signs of life and see what happens in the spring.

I put one towel in the top of the vertical hive and also wrapped it in the same way as the blue long hive. There were a few bees in the top super looking through the inner cover hole, but not many. It was windy, cloudy and in the low 50s when I was out at the hives so there were not many bees out and about. I wore my beesuit, but no one seemed to mind me stapling insulation onto the hives. I am happy to say that the vertical hive did seem solid and had a decent amount of mass, meaning that it should be in good shape for the winter. When I go to staple on insulation and the hive almost tips over, that is a big problem. Not like that this year.

My beekeeping year is officially ended. All the equipment is cleaned and stored. I feel like it has been the best year in about five years, and that makes me very happy!


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