No fall honey harvest.
I tried to "help the bees" not "fight the bees" and am trusting they know what they need the hive to be for winter.
Mouse guards went on October 2nd. Mice started showing up in our house the day after. Good timing.
The girls were throwing the boys out! It was like watching a couple of bouncers hoisting a drunk cowboy out of a saloon.
This is not my video but is a good one from another beekeeper.
I made lots of notes and drawings in my bee journal.
PINE NEEDLE INSULATION
I made baskets out of 1/4 inch hardware cloth to slide into a super and rest on some nails I put there. It was easy...just cut slits at the corners as shown and bend into a basket.
This basket holds my newly collected pine needles from the local woods as insulation and moisture absorption on the top of the hive inner cover.
I banged it out to get rid of any falling debris, but I noticed still a few days later there was a lot of debris that fell through to the ground through the screened bottom board.
Sugar: Michael Bush's book suggested using sugar as a back up feed because the bees will eat, not store it.
These hives seem to have plenty of honey and pollen stores for winter but last spring was so devastating even though I did not harvest any honey at least one hive died of starvation while it was in my power to feed them through the worst of spring.
So I sprinkled white cane sugar on top of the inner covers.
Still in conflict about whether to seal up the screened bottom board or leave it open.
The bees had propolized so well the entrance reducer that I decided to leave it on and put the mouse guard - also hardware cloth - over it on my two roadside hives.
My backyard hive mouseguard is properly installed.
Still need to do some sort of wind guard. Do not want to do hay bails again...messy and too much of a chance for mice and moisture.
Will not wrap the hives this year....