Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's a Wrap 2011

     Though I planned to do this last week, the weather turned quite warm and so I decided to hold off wrapping the hives.  Finally, the cold front that threatens to linger is arriving as I write this and so I got out this morning, almost beating the rain, and got the job done.  Not the prettiest, as you can see, and I don't know about the quality of this duct tape.  They just don't make duct tape like they used to, I swear.  If I need to get out and fix it, though, I will.
        I still have empty supers on top of each one, that I will remove as soon as it gets too cold for them or I stop feeding the surplus honey.  I have one quart jar left.  I pour some into a shallow tray sitting on top of the inner cover.  They've been finishing that off in a day's time, so it won't take much longer.  I looked into buying a good spring scale to be able to assess the weight of the hives without too much manipulation.  Kathy found one that should do the trick for only $20, so we might get that.  The hives seem a bit light, and when I did the final inspection I noticed the bottom boxes are pretty empty.  I think I'll continue to feed with some sugar once the honey runs out.  I think there is enough food in the hives, but I want to make sure.
     I also added a new link, The Bad Beekeeper's Blog.  Ron Miksha, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, writes a humorous but informative blog about his experiences with his Summit Gardens Honey Farm.  In Ron's words, his site is "largely editorial and sometimes recklessly presented. If you strongly disagree with anything you find here, send Ron a note - or keep reading as you are likely to find he also advocates an opposite view-point elsewhere in his blog."  
Update:  I used a fish scale and a lever to get an estimate of the weight of each hive.  #1 looks in pretty good shape at about 117 lbs.  #2, though, is much lighter, coming in at about 88 lbs.  At this point, with cold weather coming on, I think I'll discontinue feed now but will be looking to feed early in the spring, probably with some pollen patties of some sort.




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