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Candidate for Gov Helps My Bees!

I finally Winterized both of my hives, giving them a good once over in the process. Although I came packing for bear, the bees were not very defensive at all. They really acted fairly docile, with only one from the weak hive giving me the ‘in your face’ eyeball (where they seem to buzz around your face in a prelude to trying to kamikaze you). This gave me a good chance to get my chores done and record some observations.

Hive 1

As always, this kingdom of bees looked great. They have nearly 9 full frames of honey in the spare, top deep. The bottom deep has a lot of honey and pollen, although it is hard to tell how much of which. I did not break much of this up, as I was recently advised not to break the cluster in the Winter and (per my recent post) Winter started back in October…

I did put some pollen patties on top of the frames that were covered with bees. I had to slightly push the bees out of the way, but they went without much objection. Makes you wonder if they were a tad cold, but the temperature was at 71, so it could not have been that. There are a ton of bees in this hive, probably 5 fully flush frames. No sign of any nasties, although I know that small hive beetles are in this one (I’ve seen them before.) This is all good news.

Hive 2

The weak hive was looking better, but there were probably half as many bees. They had some odd behavior (per usual). Everyone seemed to be massing up near the front of the hive body. They covered 3 or 4 frames, but only towards the front. I gave these gals some pollen and made sure the feeder was situated on top of a small twig to provide some air circulation.

One thing that I did note was that the bees on this hive were bringing in some very red pollen. They normally bring in nothing but yellow. I was a bit surprised anyway, as I did not know of anything that was blooming right now! I did find a couple of blanket flowers that were blooming in my Red Ace Plumb flower bed. I might try a few more of these next year to see if they will always bloom this long.

Candidate for Governor

Finally, we come to the subject of this post. My primary source for Bee Information (Tom Fifer) indicated that he leaves the covers of his screened-bottom-boards off during the Winter. But, the State Apiarist (Keith Tignor) recently mentioned (at an ERBA meeting) that he would not recommend it. Quite frankly, I pretty much go with Tom’s advice. He’s cut and dry and definitely a pragmatist, which suits my way of operating. But, this whole open bottom board issue has been a real problem for me. I keep picturing them freezing their you-know-what‘s off with such a large opening.

So, for this point, I will not go with Tom’s advice, but instead use Keith’s. It’s definitely better for my ease of mind. To do this on the weak hive, I needed something to put under it (this screened bottom-board did not come with a cover to do a mite count on.) So, I went for a drive. Fortunately, I quickly found a Creigh Deeds sign, flopping in the breeze about a mile down the road.

His run for Gov didn’t amount to much. But, I’m hoping his campaign sign will help my weak hive through the Winter!

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