It looks like we’ll be doing the hive “winterizing” tomorrow. We plan to install the mouse guards in the hive entrances; inspect the hive bodies to see what the stores for winter and the brood nest look like; and give the girls more syrup, this time with the diarrhea-preventative in it. We may install the hive wraps, too, though it’s a bit early for that- they give the hives extra insulation that helps keep them warm inside over the winter, no matter what the weather’s like.
This will probably be our last chance for inspecting the interiors of the hives until next spring, so we want to be thorough. It will help that we got plugs of proper smoker fuel, so we’ll be able to smoke the hives and make such examination less fraught with danger!
I expect there will be pictures, in time. I’m hoping that all 3 hives look good, and that we can bring them through the winter successfully. If the stores are low, we still have time to feed them, so that’s good. We can even put some feeders inside the hive, which will make syrup somewhat easier to access even in the winter. Italians are less good at taking advantage of this than Russians, but if they have outer frames with nothing much in them, I’m inclined to replace such with syrup reservoirs.
This is rather anxiety-producing. We’re hoping to bring all 3 hives through the winter successfully- and we have not done this before, and so will feel any failure. Although, statistically, osing 1 of the hives would be not unexpected! but I hope we can pull all 3 girls through, and good data from the inspection tomorrow will help with that.