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  • Kathryn Allard

Bee Adventures - The colder part

October 9, 2020

Fed the bees !!!! Topped the level to 15 liters.

October 7

Checked the feed level : a little over the 10 liter line. Drank 4 liters in 2 days.

October 8

Checked the feed level : at the 3 to 5 liter line. Drank 5 liters in 24 hrs.

It's cold. A few flurries and windy. Brrr...

October 10

Checked the feed level : at the 3 liter line. Not drinking any more.

There's activity outside the hive, and I see bees bringing in baskets of pollen. I wonder where they're getting it from.

October 15

19 degrees and extremely windy, but probably the last rare warm days left. The syrup level is the same - no drinking since the 10th. There are 4 days left for the varroa treatment with the Apivar strips, but if I wait until then, it will be too cold. My plan today is to remove the feeder and the strips. If I have to open the hive when it's cold, I might break a brood cycle and chill the bees.

I should have prepared a container for the comb under the feeder. Sun sets around 6:30 now so there's not much time for them to clean it if I leave it out for them.

I should have thought of bringing a container with a lid for the rest of the syrup.

I should have brought a pail of water to rince the feeder with - bees are too quick and they go right back towards it, even if I brush them away.

I should have brought a screwdriver to remove the 2 screws Richard had put on the sides of the screened cage to make sure it never lifts upwards again. There is a large amount of bees that stay at the top even if I shake them.

I had forgotten the inner cover in the garage.

Thank you Richard for being there with me.

It was getting late, cold, and the wind wasn't dying down. I left the feeder on the bridge across the stream, with the opening on the gap between 2 panks of wood. If they want to leave the cage tomorrow morning, they can. I covered the feeder with a heavy blanket and a sheet of wood, for warmth.

When I returned to the hive to pick up the extra comb to store it in the freezer, there were still bees in the cage. They are tenacious! A few of them were at the entrance of the hive, wrestling with a white butterfly (or moth). I'm sure my bees won the battle.

We reduced their entrance to 1 inch, from the 3 they had previously. Keep the heat inside.

I removed the rubber mat from the ground in front of the hive and paced it further away, upside down; I had spilled syrup on it. Just in case.

October 26

Getting cold and the weather is regularly -3, rainy, windy and gloomy, so we installed the Bee Cozy. Made in Ontario, it serves as an insulated wind shield from the cold winter months. Check out the video!

I've read most people put theirs on mid-November when temperatures are steady below freezing. Here, winter always seems to arrive early.

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