I closed up the hives today - a bit late but with it being near 70 last week I'm not that late! With temperatures dipping below freezing at night it was critical that I take out the honey and sugar water containers. They can be the source of condensation in the hive, the moisture can drip in to the hive and the bees can freeze. It is moisture and cold that are a such a deadly combination for bees.
After talking with a more experienced beekeeper at the Worcester County Beekeepers Association Christmas party on Saturday, I gave the hives an extra bit of insulation. I wrapped three sides of the hives in a foil-coated bubble wrap and the top got foil coated foam. It looks really silly but he swears by this method. According to him, the bees adapted to living in trees that are much thicker generally than wooden hives so a bit of extra insulation mimics the trees.One girl came and sat on my veil for a while I was cleaning up.
I miss my bees.