Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I've been meaning to get out to my hive for a while now to do a final inspection and prepare the hives for the winter. The weather here has turned cooler with temperatures dipping down into the 40's at night. The days are still warm, but winter is surely coming.
First, I payed the 'rent'. I took the landowner/farmer four pounds of honey. I think that's pretty fair given that I only got about 23lbs total. As suspected, he was very appreciative and commented on how light the honey looked.
Upon my arrival at the hives, I immediately noticed that there was absolutely no activity at Genesis. I donned my full beekeeper suit and smoker and cracked open the lid to find nothing but cockroaches, wax moths, and a stray bee or two. Interestingly, there were very few dead bees inside the hive. It looked like someone had decided to turn my hive into a haunted hive with all of the cobwebs, moth damage, and the silence.
Exodus continues to amaze me. I wasn't sure about this hive, but the incredible number of bees inside was exciting to see. There were lots of baby bees which tells me I still have a good, healthy hive at this point. I had left a couple supers on this hive, hoping that they would capture some of the late honey, which they did, but not I have a few frames of uncapped and capped honey. My mentor told me to freeze it, and then give it back to them in the spring if I don't mind blending spring with fall. No problem there.
I did see capped brood, eggs, and some honey stored up for winter. These bees will need fed in the next few days and I'll be brewing up some heavy syrup for the winter feeding.
Overall, I'm excited that at least one of my hives made it. It's been two years and I was fortunate to get some honey and learn a lot about the Genesis hive during the time it thrived. I'll be doing a good cleaning and painting of Genesis and will be welcoming a new package of bees in the spring.
Thanks to all of you who offered advice on what to do and how to save Genesis, but it just was not meant to be.