winter prep

I know that to experienced bee keepers the rhythm of the year is pretty clear.  But I am constantly amazed with my first colony.  I got the bees from Peter in Botley (thanks again Peter) and added a third box to my warre hive about 6 weeks ago.

For weeks it was empty.  This morning when I checked through the window, it’s virtually full.  More bees than ever, no sign of drones being expelled.  I’ve not fed them at all.  The hive feels very heavy – so I’ve just left them alone.  All natural.  Some wasps hanging around – but getting nowhere.

2 questions

Should I do anything at all at this stage to maximise the colonies chances over the winter ?

Is there any chance they could still swarm this late in the season ?

perhaps dopey questions – but I’d hate to make a silly error and lose the colony !

Jonny

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One Response to winter prep

  1. Paul says:

    Congratulations on such a thriving colony!
    If the box feels very heavy, just leave them alone, they don’t need feeding and are gathering nectar faster than they’re burning it. The local weather looks to be OK (warmer than some years) for a week or maybe more in the future. The bees are thriving and will be able to get lots of nectar from ivy this month.
    Don’t worry about swarms, it’s too late for them. Their strategy is to colonise a new home early enough that they can gather enough stores to survive winter – so they stop swarming around July.
    The Warre beekeeping list recommended putting mouse guards on our hives round now. If you don’t see any drones at all, do this round now; but if there are still a few going in and out, leave them off for a couple of weeks so they aren’t trapped inside. I don’t see any round my hives now.

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