Cooler Nights, Fall Flowers and Mice

The Golden Rod is in it’s full  bloom yellow glory and the bees are bringing it in by the leg loads. There are also other Fall plants in various stages of bloom so a steady stream of  full pollen baskets are flowing into the hives. It is a wonder to just watch bees at work!

Inspecting the hives today was very satisfying as there is solid brood and ample stores in the full size hives. They are well underway to successful overwintering.

All but two of my nucs are doing well for my nuc overwinter plan. One that is not doing well is from a late swarm I caught, so I shall see how it ends. I used overwinter nucs to make comb honey this past Spring. I hope to do a bit more comb production in 2014. Chunk comb was very popular and turned out better than expected.

I reduced the hive openings down to about one half of the width using a 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 6″ wooden reducers. I don’t use the standard entrance reducer that comes with hive kits because the 3/8″ opening is too small for easy removal of the dead bees. This 3/8″ opening (think bee space) can clog up in late winter creating a bit of a problem for the bees.

I also installed mouse guards which for me is a piece of 1/2″ hardware cloth stapled across the opening. Some suggest using 3/8″ but that is too small for my liking (think bee space again).