Well its here, although a little early the cool nights have the bees coming home early of an evening. Who knows how this winters weather will go, my bet is as unpredictable as it been for the last 9 Months. so if you haven't packed your bees down, made sure they have plenty of winter stores, - - don't panick, I'm sure you will get a few days in the next couple of weeks still.
so what now.... you've have now packed down.... you get to play a game.....
The Winter Waiting game 😳😳😳... it's not a game any enthusiastic, in-patient beekeeper wants to play , buts its very important.
So some basic guides for you
1- Don't Open the hive
2- Don't Open the hive
3- Don't open the hive
4- read guides 1-3 and remind yourself
5- guides 1-4 don't apply in emergencies
(ie suspected disease, no bees visible for days even though it's been sunny and warm outside)
6- go and start prepare for spring
hahaha- nail biting times ahead hey, unfortunately if you haven't done what's needed when winter truly arrives you can do more harm than good.
I can hear it now "but I googled as long as it's over 20degrees" - this is true but it's also true that the colony can take up to 24hrs to raise the heat that was lost, this can chill the brood overnight on weakens colonies causing a major setback for the colony Or even a dearth event.
If your seeing bee activity on the warmer and sunnier days they'll be ok, they'll do their thing.
Winter is a great time to pull out the old paint brush / oil rag, waxing machine and to stock up on your essentials ready for spring. So get extra supplies NOW whilst everyone has stock- supers boxes (so important to have by July), extra frames, suits, gloves, feeder, shout yourself a great smoker (they are worth the money) and traps or apithors for those darn beetles and Nuc boxes or an extra hive incase your bees swarm- Bee Wiser!
The bees will tell you when spring is, NOT the human calendar. Last season spring broke early first week of July - who knows this year beg I bet - THE BEES WILL KNOW and you will see a sudden explosion of numbers again, - keep your "head in the trees" as well by watching mother natures signs of spring bloom.
This is also the time to rest, recharge, re-think- get ready- The Spring Bee Train will hit before you know it.
Happy Bee Siesta everyone