In late May our amateur beekeepers travelled from Sydney to the farm to prepare the bees for Winter. Thankfully the NSW Government had exemptions in place for beekeepers and the trip out to the property was quicker than usual given the limited traffic!
In preparation for Winter, and to help the colony of bees to conserve energy and keep the brood nest warm, the number of hive boxes was reduced to one. The theory behind reducing the hive is simple – a small house does not need as much heating as a big house when it is cold. The ideal temperature for the hive to maintain during winter is 34 degrees and the closer the bees are together the better. This allows the bees to concentrate on surviving the winter months ahead. We also removed a number of frames to put in place an internal feeder for the beers filled with sugar syrup.
The bees were a little annoyed about the intrusion but will no doubt be thankful in a few months’ time when we open the hive again in Spring. Our bees play an important role in the homestead’s garden allowing many plants to be pollinated and reproduce.