The Bees Are Buzzin!
Sloan and Rhys, LEAF award winners, have been busy taking care of and monitoring the bees as they get through the winter!
To get a sneak peak into what they have been up to, see below↓
Rhys and Sloan try not to open the hive when it drops below 65 degrees as it impacts the bees inside that are trying to keep warm. Currently, the bees are staying inside the hive most days, because it is not warm and the sun is not out. Luckily, we have had unusually warm weather lately and they took advantage of it to check the bees (very quickly) and installed these boards!
Above, a "shim" also known as a "candy board" is pictured. Rhys and Sloan have installed one into the hive so that the bees in a may eat it during the winter/ snow months. They have installed a pollen patty this year as well as winter food for any brood in the hive. The nurse bees will eat the pollen patty, which is not actually made of pollen but a sugar type substitute. After a long summer, this is another supportive measure that they can take to try to get the bees through the winter.
Rhys and Sloan placed a t-shirt on the bottom and wood shavings on top to help insulate the hive and absorb any dampness prior to re-closing the hive. Dampness is the number two killer of hives after varroa mites.
Rhys and Sloan are currently taking time to learn a lot more about bees online by watching a northern California beekeeper, Randy Oliver. He is a scientist and has tested many mite controls in the industry, teaching them which additional mite controls they can add this coming year. Rhys and Sloan plan on building his mite washer where one takes a sample of bees, puts them in alcohol, and then counts the amount of mites in that sample. This allows them be able to determine how aggressive they will need to be in treating the bees.