I’m enjoying the autumn fruit, hops are ripening, blackberries are in abundance and there’s nothing as good as a fresh apple but fruits follow flowers and when your food source is flowers, winter is well on the way. Aside from a few stragglers, pretty much the only flowers open now are ivy.
As a new beekeeper going into winter is a lot more worrying than opening my hives for the first time. I’m facing a couple of months where I must not under any circumstances bother the bees. This time of year is all about making sure my bees have all they need to make it through.
Hive two has excelled, I’m hoping to breed from their queen next year. I’ve had twenty two kilos of honey from them and I’ve left them with almost that in the nest. I don’t need to worry beyond the usual nervous beginner fretting.
Hive one, my expensive Buckfast bees are in shame, or rather in serious trouble. I’ve taken no honey off them but they have no stores . After a hopeful start, the weather went wet and they ate everything. If I don’t intervene they won’t survive. Luckily bees can eat sugar which is basically the same as honey. Which is why I was in Satansbury’s the other day buying ten kilos of Silver Spoon ( come on give me some sponsorship for the mention! }. With a load of empty comb in the hive they’ve started storing sugar syrup in place of honey, and with luck will make it through.
I haven’t told them yet that as soon as spring comes, their queen will be for the chop – I’ll be putting a daughter of hive two in there as soon as I can.
Another sure sign that winter is encroaching is that the Honey Show was last week. I should have helped out but had to go to a wedding so only got there for the end of the last day, discovered the dog is frightened of crowds and had to slink out before he had a total melt down.Sorry about that fellow beekeepers I resolve to be of more use in future.
Blogger Leo the Explorer was on hand to record the show, do take a look, it’s well worth it.