In mid-October, we went through hives and moved brood down, food above the brood, and open frames on the far edges of the hive (if there were any empty or mostly empty frames). By mid-October, a lot of the queens were winding down on laying eggs and it wasn’t unusual to see small patches of brood or no eggs or larvae. This also gave us an opportunity to access the food situation in the hive and the general health of the hive.
In some cases, we joined hives together (sorry queen that got killed off) or added bees from hives that were still really big. In some cases, we noted the hive and will cross our fingers that they make it through the winter but know their chance is not great. Such is life in the bee yard.
As temps got cooler, we went from 1:1 sugar syrup to 2:1 sugar/water syrup. Once temps are done, it’s harder for the bees to dissipate the water in the syrup so we were trying to give them the best chance at adding to their stores before winter.
In the coming weeks, we’ll stop adding syrup and add fondant to the hives. We are no longer getting into the hives for inspection, so it’ll just be popping the outer cover and inner cover and adding the fondant or checking on how much fondant is left until early February.
Here’s a previous post I did that talks about making and using fondant: