The weather has turned cool enough that our girls aren’t very active outside the hive, so I took the supers off each of the hives to start getting the hives settled down for the winter. Put in the bottom boards, put on the mouse-excluders (probably should have done that sooner). All 3 hives look to be well-supplied with honey and a good healthy crew of bees. They were not pleased with me removing the queen excluders, as they had firmly attached them to the brood boxes with both propolis and burr comb. It took some serious leverage to remove the queen excluders (but thankfully no damage), and the girls were all over me to express their displeasure! I hadn’t expected the removal to be so challenging, and so I hadn’t fired up the smoker. Plus I had left the box of matches out in the rain…
When heading back into the house I thought I had brushed off all the bees on my bee-suit. Ha! First I discovered a clump of bees in folds of the pants legs, then a line of bees up the front zipper (under the flap, of course), then more on the veil behind my head, and finally as I took of the suit - a huge cluster on the middle of my back. Fortunately all were busy on the suit, so I was able to jump back outside and shoo them all off. Had one straggler somewhere, she was quickly cornered in the window, enticed onto my glove & returned to the outdoors. I really try to get them back outside safely, after all I am the one that invaded their home first!
We’ll need to do some feeding until it gets too cold, and I’ll need to give the hive wrap more thought. Last year it worked beautifully on 2 of the hives, but one ended up holding in too much moisture and we lost a bit to mold.