Bee in Harmony Blog

Preparing for the Fall, Part II

beehives ready to be merged

I changed all of our bees’ foundation in the beginning of September (Labor Day weekend), when I also harvested the honey.It is now the middle of October, and it is time to prepare the bees for the winter. But first, I had to joint the brood rearing colonies with the queen-right colonies. The brood-rearing colony should have already been sitting next to the queen-right colony. So, the idea is to remove the bees from that location and make them come back to the queen-right colony. So, here is how I did it:

Equipment and supplies: my bucket supplies, plus an inner cover with the bee escape installed, bottom board.

Step 1: Set the box with old foundation and bees left on it on the top of the inner cover. Cover with the outer cover. Do not use inner cover on top. Other bees can smell the honey/pollen/syrup inside of it and would want to come and rob it. Robbing must be avoided, because it spreads the diseases.

Step 2: Move the queen-right colony in the middle of the two hives’ locations. The setup is the same: bottom board, deep super, inner cover, shallow super (to hide the feeding bottle). Install a new feeding bottle with syrup.

Step 3: Set the queenless colony on the top of the shallow super of the queen-right colony, with inner cover (outfitted with bee escape) in between. The new setup is the following: bottom board, queen-right deep super, inner cover with feeding bottle, shallow super, inner cover with bee escape, queenless super, outer cover.

Wait for a day or two before removing the old hive. Store the old comb in the fridge, until ready to melt, since it is bound to have some wax moth eggs waiting to hatch while in storage.

I cannot believe that it is getting cold here. Our wood shed is almost full… It is time to winterize the hives. It is time to start making lotions, soap and candles and homemade Christmas cards…


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