Hopefully with the weather being a bit colder at last, the bees will be tucked up in a cluster, and not expending energy flying. Nevertheless it is important to continue to keep an eye on stores. So heft your hives or (as I do) just put some fondant on just in case. I don’t like anyone in my household to go hungry!
Also make sure your hives are protected from the elements and wildlife as appropriate – just check they are ok once in a while, in case your bees need your help. If you have mice around, fit your mouse guards now to keep them out, if you haven’t done so already.
What’s going on in the hive?
The queen may still lay eggs through the winter, so you should see bees bringing in pollen on warmer days. Apart from that, the bees will go into a cluster in the colder weather to keep warm.
What’s in the larder?
There is very little forage around now, only the last of the ivy and a few primroses are about. The colder weather has killed off those flowers that were flowering in our warm autumn. Do make sure that your bees have a water supply nearby if needed.
Now is the time to put your feet up, and catch up on back issues of Beecraft and BBKA News, with maybe a glass of mead! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and very best wishes for a healthy and productive New Year!