Just noticed a request from Steve M for updates - so, yesterday, in terms of going into the winter, cleaning bottom boards but not going into the hives:
And having moved 3 of my 48" hives to an out-apiary 5 miles up the road on 31 July - what a 'heave ho'... removal van cos ordinary vans aren't wide enough, 4 strong men + me.
Now I have:
- H1: 26 combs full, 'goldenish' bees with nice temperament, lots of varroa (I've applied HiveClean 7 times and then icing sugar twice - numbers going down when I stopped HClean but I'm not sure what this indicates...), feeding fondant but bees prefer nectar when/if they can get it.
- H6: This was a split, 12 combs full, dark bees with one insistently defensive guard, very little varroa, icing sugar once, feeding fondant.
- H7: The split came from this hive, 13 combs full, mixed dark & light bees, by the time I reached it I was being persistently buzzed by guards (bother...), middling varroa for a 1/2 hive (20 per day) icing sugared, feeding fondant.
In my garden:
- H2+3: This was a huge swarm into h3, which I then sat on top of h2. It's got 22 combs full across the two levels, dark bees not particularly defensive, varroa just starting to increase (10 per day), feeding fondant
- H5: small swarm - absconded in August due to massive invasion of wax moth plus robbing by the hive above - I'm sad about that.
Now planning partial quilts (a la Warré info on the Biobee forum) to cover the feeding hole (1 of 2) that's not in use for fondant.
Is this all to much info? Cheers, V