...my brain is NOT WORKING today (at work)...let's see if I can at least be creative here. COOL nights look like they're here to stay from here on out. We had a nice warm-up this last week - GOOD if you're treating hives - you need the temps to activate some of the chemicals. I'm not sure it was so great for the bees though - it was DRY (not much for nectar?) for a good week & a half. It seemed like within a very short period the leaves TURNED colors and DROPPED OFF.
My harvest update: I took about HALF as last year. HALF the hives though! BUT - I can't fault them...'cause I'm also overwintering them as 3 DEEPS HIGH! which means....their top deep is PLUM FULL of honey (do i need to say HEAVY????)...and they fill THAT before they fill MINE.
I'm planning on getting to them early in the spring...and when I do the hive body switch (with 3 deeps)...i'm going to rearrange and grab 5 nuc frames from each (provided they have a big enough brood nest to do so).
And with the "mother" hives - I'll give them another deep when they need it. Whatever genetics I've got cooking in these hives.....they LOVE 3 deeps....no swarms last year!
THIS IS THE SAD TIME of the year for me. Less time outside, Less time with bees, hearing bees, watching bees. All the while crossing fingers and just HOPING they'll make it through the next 4 or 5 months.
We saw some evidence around the yard of MICE moving into things (behind our fountain, under a piece of wood that had fallen in the fenceline)....NEED to get out and check the bottom boards for EVIDENCE (you know what:) though I've had entrance reducer/mice proof things on the entrances for about a month already. Mice can squeeze themselves down SO FLAT!...still have to check. THEY CAN REALLY DO A JOB IN THE HIVE! Last year, half of a deep was chewed out, bees dead....and ICKY MOUSEY doo everywhere. I'd just as soon burn the whole box!