Flow Hive ready for Winter

Work has kept me away from the garden and the blog over the last few weeks, and I’ve returned to a brutal storm with wind tearing branches away and the rain gauge showing around 4 inches of rain ( 120 mm ) most of which has probably fallen in the last week. I assume that the bees are hunkered down like I am inside.

It seems like Winter has finally come, and not before time – it’s been a mild Autumn so far. But now the Liquid Amber leaves have reached full colour, and most of them will probably be on the ground by the time the storm finishes. Luckily we replaced the 2 broken panes in the greenhouse roof last time we were here, and strapped on the flow hive roof.

flow hive ready for winter
In case you are wondering, the platform with legs is a solution to a problem with ants, which had invaded the roof and top part of the hive which the bees haven’t moved into yet. The cups were originally filled with vegetable oil but it is probably mostly water now.

We opened the hive a month ago and everything looks good, except we found that in transferring the nuc to their new home we had made a mistake in the number of frames within the hive, and the bees have now filled up that space so we can’t add the frame in now. For now we have decided to just leave this – the bees haven’t had long to prepare for winter so we don’t want to do anything to damage the stores they have put up.

bees making up for wrong frame

There are still flowers around, but the wind and rain will make it hard for them to go out to get food.

bees in hive

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12 thoughts on “Flow Hive ready for Winter

    1. I hope so too. There have been a few sunny patches amidst the rain and wind today and a few bees going to and from the hive. I’ve planted some nice plants close to the hive for when they just have time to dash out 🙂 but they are small yet.

      1. Do have lots of early spring blooms to feed them in a few months? I hear that they get so hungry. My snowdrops and crocus are the first up and to my amazement, they always have visitors.

      2. I have bought a lot of Crocus bulbs which will be planted next week, and we have a many trees and shrubs which flower in Winter and early Spring, including quite a few Rosemary and Echium. I am planting a whole bunch more Rosemary today and reseeding my mustard patch which should flower in early Spring as well. So I hope we are prepared 🙂

    1. Hi Annette, unfortunately we do have varroa, in fact you can see a mite on one of the bees in the photo, so I will be putting in a treatment next week. It seems very difficult to contain this type of problem to one location anymore.

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