Beekeeping Journal

New foundation so letting them air out until my packages arrive in April.

It's still early but I have one set up now and another will be by this weekend.

Added foam panels insulation around beehive, keeping Vivaldi board ventilation open at the top. Have been noticing very little activity at the hive, which has been a bit concerning. Nights are getting cold and the hive is in shade most of the day now ... did see about ten bees flying about the opening yesterday during a short sunny period.

Getting ready for winter... Tipped the hive forward a bit too ahead of the rainy season. All I need to do is prepare fondant and put some burlap sacks in the Vibaldi board. Honey super is heavy but not as heavy as I had hoped....

Placed a Vivaldi board on the hive, between it and my custom cover. Did not add any fondant yet. I'll do that when I remove the apivar strips in a couple of weeks.

Placed a pollen patty inside the hive over the honey deep. Also placed a ventilation shim with a one-inch, screened hole in the same location. Hive appears to be strong and doing well.

Pulled the honey - not a whole lot in the top super, five partially full frames. But it will give me a taste... :) They have a full deep super of honey for winter, so I didn't cut into their stash. Also treated for mites with two strips of Apivar in the brood chamber.

Temperature was 72 degrees, skies were overcast. Bees were very calm. Until I started shaking them off their honey frames ... all hell broke loose, haha.

Yeah, I know. They can attract bees with disease, yadda yadda yadda. But bees with disease can also rob out my hives. The dearth is strong so I chose to put out on open feeder on the far end of the property. This resulted in hundreds (if not thousands) of bees and yellow jackets swarming the feeder, dive bombing into the pool, etc ...

Bees found eight full frames of honey that were in storage in the barn. They've been there since last season but one lucky bee found its way in and told all her friends. There were hundreds of bees and yellow jackets in there. Suited up and removed the bees. The dearth is on... Temps have been in the mid to high nineties and I can't remember that last time it rained. That's odd for the Pacific NW. Everything is tinder dry.

They have really slowed down with the dearth coming - the top super only has four frames partially filled. Looks like I won't be harvesting honey this year. That's okay, though. The brood and food chambers are full and the hive looks strong and healthy.