I made the hives really tall - it is funny to see them tall again. I took down the fall medications I use for mites. Varroa mites attach to bees when the are little larvae and then when the adult emerges from the cell, the mite is already attached. They suck the life out of bees - not all the life, but just a little at a time. The makes the whole hive just a little bit less able to fight infection. The more mites, the less able the hive is able to fight infection.
And did I mention that the more mites a hive has, the meaner they get!? Oh, yeah the bees in my first hive -the meanest bees in Worcester County- had high mite levels. Not wanting to go there again, I treat my bees with a miticide that is gentle to the bees and to me.
I added a hive box and gave the girls lots of honey to help them keep warm in our chilly mornings. They seem like they are doing well. Unlike last fall, Sun's hive is the weakest of the three. The other two hives have more bees, but all three seem to be quite happy and doing well.
I did discover we need a new cover for Ruby's hive. The cover is old and rotting underneath. It is letting in moisture and that can be fatal for the bees in the winter - if they get wet in the winter they can freeze and die.
Over the next month or so we will be tucking the girls away for the winter. They will be getting a partial wrap around the hives to help keep in the heat and protect them from snow covering the entrance way. I also put a few bales of hay outside of the bee-deck to help with the wind. I don't know if it really really helps, but it makes me feel better.
I miss the bees already!
1 year ago