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Winter is approaching…

The bees seem so much less active now that the weather has cooled down in London.  I hardly see them now buzzing around the garden.  I guess they’re happier keeping themselves inside the hive.  The key tasks at this time of the year is to rearrange the hive.  For some reason, it’s recommended that the super (a box which is placed on top of the brood box usually) is placed underneath the brood box.  Also, they say you should get a mouse guard to prevent them inhabiting the cosy environment of the hive!  It’s been a bit busy on the wards recently but as soon as I get time I’ll get the hive ready for winter.

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Honey stores ready for winter (hopefully!)

The honey stores in the frames are looking very good and the frames are quite heavy now when lifted to examine.  Of the 10 frames in the brood chamber, I’d say 8 are full of honey so I’m hoping this will be enough to keep the bees alive during the winter.  Slight problem with ear wigs today – there were several near the feeder – fortunately these were easily cleared.

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Collected 246 jars today…(even before I have any honey!)

Apparently beekeepers buy their jars in Autumn – the essex beekeepers did a bulk buy so I collected my order of 246 0.5lb jars today from a Turkey Farm in Stock in preparation for a potential honey harvest.  I met Giles there (EBKA member), an experienced beekeeper, who told me that this has been the worst year for beekeeping in all his years because the weather has been bad for the bees.  Also told me that he has had to feed the bees otherwise they won’t survive the winter.  It’s funny because my mum keeps telling me not to!