Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Frozen honey and bees.
It's been getting down into the 20's at night over the past few days and it is time to insulate the hive. When I went out there this morning to do that, I didn't see any bees at all through the window and I got a little worried. I reasoned that since I didn't see a huge pile of dead bees on the floor of the hive they must be in there somewhere. Sure enough, as I was working they started moving around and coming to the window.
Fondant boards on the right.

First I took the hardware off the window panel and set all that aside. Then I opened the hive and checked on the bees. The honey in the combs looked frozen but I suspect the freezing point is quite low so it was probably just sluggish.  Then in order to put the fondant boards in I took out a little bit of wax that was unfilled and not really in the right place. It was so cold it was brittle. The fondant boards went in and I moved a partly made, partly filled comb behind it. The false back went next and then I added some spacers to make everything fit correctly.

After that, I put the foam on top of the lid and then put the panels on the sides. It would have been easier with 2 people but I was able to get the back and side panels on and then I could work on the front. Since the front panel closes up most of the entrance and the bees had started to come out by then, I had to shoo the bees out of the way so I could get the panel on without hurting them. Once I got the bungee straps together I was able to shift the panels into the proper position. Then the roof went on over the top insulation panel.

Now that I have the panels up, though, it will be almost impossible to check on them. I have to have faith that they have enough to eat and will survive.

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