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On Sunday, we checked the Flow Hive and the split hive in preparation for winter preparation. What does that mean?
Well, first since both hives were looking a little weak at our last check (likely due to high mite counts - Please see our last post entitled This is How You Lose the Mite War), we wanted to make sure they were both queenright. If one didn't have a queen, then we could combine the two weak hives into one strong hive for the winter. Good news, both hives were queenright, so no combining needed.
Second, we fed both hives 3 quart jars of 2:1 sugar syrup to fatten up their winter stores of honey. We also made sure that frames of honey in the mediums were in the middle of the box and removed some shallow frames from the medium super of the split hive (oops!). These short frames would've made it almost impossible for the bees to reach the honey stored in them over the winter.
Third, we placed mouse guard over the entrances of the hives because this is the time of year that mice are looking for a nice, warm, dark place with plenty of food to spend the winter (i.e. your hive). We also replaced one of the split hive's boxes with a nicer one that had fewer holes for mice to get into and that would let out heat in the winter.
At our next check we will be winterizing the hives. This means wrapping them with roofing felt, placing quilt boxes on top of the hives to help insulate and absorb moisture, treating the hives with an Oxalic Acid dribble to kill any adult mites left in the hive, placing a foam board under the outer cover for insulation, and stocking the hives with dry sugar (as temperatures drop, the bees aren't able to take in the sugar syrup anymore).
The last check of the season is on Saturday, October 30th, 2021 at 11am.
Hope you can bee there! :)
If you would like to join the A2B2 Flow Hive Team or would like to know more about the Flow Hive in general, please contact Jen Haeger at email@example.com. All are welcome regardless of experience level! :)