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Tucking in the Bees

November 13, 2011

The weather has changed quickly here in the Vancouver area. November 1oth it was around 15 Celsius and sunny, Friday the 11th it was thunderstorms, hail, gusts to 90 km an hour with temps around the freezing mark.  The bees were fairly active the weekend before and there was lots of bees bringing in pollen from the ivy that is just down the alley from the apiary. [caption id="attachment_530" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Bee on Ivy blooms"]ivy-bee[/caption] The Ivy was awash in flying insects.  Wasps , Flys and these creatures in the picture below, that have markings similar to wasps or bees. From what I can find they are called Hoverflys. Check out the article here on Wikipedia. [caption id="attachment_529" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Hover Fly"]hover flie[/caption] The weather here in Vancouver is fairly mild in the winter, with temps rarely getting below freezing although precipitation is plentiful. I have decided to wrap the hives with a product purchased on the internet that is called Colony Quilt  supposedly only available from B & B Honey farm.  With a "R" rating of 3.7  it should hold a bit more heat in than just plain tar paper. The outside is black plastic with the inside being layers of flexible low density foam material. [caption id="attachment_534" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Colony Quilt Wrap Close up"]Quilt Wrap[/caption] [caption id="attachment_531" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Colony Quilt Close Up"]Colony Quilt close up[/caption]

The wrap was easy to install by just stapling it to the hive box.

[caption id="attachment_533" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Colony Quilt for 2 deeps"]Colony Quilt for 2 deeps[/caption]

The finished product on the hive.

[caption id="attachment_532" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Wrapped Hive"]Wrapped Hive[/caption] Ventilation is the key to overwintering and the Quilt Boxes installed earlier in the month have been working as they should be. I took a quick look today and the condensation above the Quilt boxes shows me the colony is thriving. The stronger colony in the blue hive has a lot more condensation than the smaller colony in the brown hive.  Not much is going to be happening until January when the bees might need to be fed if they have run out of Honey or can't get to it. Steve


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