On a warm October day, Bethany, Olivia, and our younger brother helped Mike and Julie inspect the hives. After October, hive inspections in Iowa become few and far between as the temperature begins to drop. It is important to help the bees prepare for winter by feeding them and by duck taping any large cracks in the equipment to prevent the wind from getting in the hive and chilling the winter bees.
Here they are checking the feeder to make sure there is enough sugar syrup in it.
In this picture, Mike is filling the feeders with 2:1 sugar water. Mike and Julie feed the bees so they will have plenty of resources to make it through the long, cold Iowa winter. Mike and Julie fed their bees with 2:1 by weight sugar water. They also put a mountain camp on top. To create a mountain camp a beekeeper lays down damp newspaper on the top box’s frame then pile sugar on top. The beekeeper then lightly mists the sugar so that it packs together. The mountain camp supplies emergency food stores for the bees and helps stop condensation from dripping on the bees. These things help the bee’s survival chances.
Our little brother looking into the feeder to watch the bees eat.
Here Mike is showing Olivia and our little brother a frame of brood.
Mike found something really interesting and everyone wanted to see it.
Here they are beginning to put the hives back together.
Mike is pushing all the frames together. This is important because if the frames are not pushed together the bees will fill out the comb in usual ways. This is bad because it is harder to put the frames back in the future if the comb is unusually shaped.