Just as we are putting on our hats and mittens more frequently, the bees are getting ready for the winter as well. I have been feeding them honey for a while and it has been just too cold to continue with that for a while. I tried to feed a bit of 2:1 sugar water, but they have officially stopped taking that now.
2:1 sugar water is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. This means the bees have to less work to store it. Is it as good as honey, no, but it can get them through in a pinch. Think of it as ramen noodles - not your staple food, but will keep you alive.
Today I took apart the hives for the last time this year. The weather is warm but rain is threatening. I took out all the feeding bottles and only one hive even took the sugar water. All three hives looked amazing. There were plenty of bees, they were flying in small numbers, and they were gorgeous.
I love being a beekeeper. Days like today are precious - I worked the hives while everyone else is going about their lives at school and work, and the bees and I had our secret moments of gratitude and worship.