Well, Summer is well and truly done and Autumn is here with leaves changing and dropping, football commentators in my lounge room again, night air getting crisp and less bees flying around giving my dog 'fits of the vapours'. Poor Harry. His particular scent, aroma is musky and, let's call it, 'exotic' as it's like nothing else in my natural world. Apparently the bees agree. Perhaps his aroma is redolent of wild, angry, hungry, sweet-toothed bears, I'm sure he'd like to think so. Grrrr!
As Harry gets to relax for a while so do we. Our hives are undergoing the process of being closed down for winter. All surplus honey has been removed, not that it was a bumper haul but still plenty for our needs. The stickies will need to be popped back in for a week or so. The bees can clean them up, then we'll take those boxes home, freeze the frames and put them into lidded plastic tubs for the winter.
On our final visit to the hives for the season we will check that the hives are all sound, gap free, clean and stocked with adequate tucker for the overwintering of the colonies. All hives will have SHB traps inserted. Entrances will be reduced and hives checked to make sure they are sloping towards the front for drainage. Any bushes or branches will be trimmed back so that the hives get maximum sunshine through the cooler months. The tricky bit is finding a convenient day which will be warm enough to open the hives for the last time. Fortunately the next few days look promising.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to Ben Moore from Ben's Bees for presenting an interesting and informative talk at the meeting last month. His experience for his tender years is quite amazing, his enthusiasm and passion, inspiring.
This month Julian will be chatting to us about packing down. We will also have a panel of experienced beekeepers to answer any questions you may have about the process. There's no doubt that the whole concept of hive and frame manipulation can be quite daunting. Wish I was all over it, I'm not. For the most part that's my husband's domain, although I am permitted to make suggestions. Facts & trivia is my forte, which can be useful (and distracting) in my capacity as an educator. I can hear my students all vigorously nodding their heads.
Also this month Colin will be talking about the Brood Minder Hive Monitoring System. It sounds rather enigmatic but all the more reason to come along and hear of the wonders it can perform.
I'm hoping the new Polo Shirts, which were ordered at the last meeting, will be ready for distribution also. We will also have some club Hoodies available for sale. Prices below.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it to the meeting.
To you all - happy beekeeping
❝For so work the honey-bees, creatures that by a rule in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom.❞
~ William Shakespeare