A couple of dumb, basic questions… so thanks in advance for humoring me as I learn…just trying not to kill my bees over the winter. I was at my local bee club meeting this week (NE Ohio/ Cleveland area), but they won’t to discuss flow hives or differences, due to lack of experience, so even though I have a robust club, I feel like all of the information does not always translate…
If I use a quilt box to absorb moisture should it go ABOVE my inner cover with the feeding hole open to let moisture out, or should it go under my inner cover with the feeding hole closed. OR is a moisture board a better option, or even a bunch of crumpled newspaper above the inner cover with the feeding hole open…willing to be practical to spend $ as needed, but not to waste if there are simple solutions at hand.
Confirming that my hive should only have 1 opening (no top ventilation) at the entrance, protected by an entrance reducer/ mouse guard
there was a lot of talk re: different exterior insulation options (including none)… can we use dark blue bubble wrap (actually a pool blanket) we have laying around (to wrap all sides of the hive, leaving the entrance open/ accessible or should we buy something specific? (at my meeting they discussed black cardboard waxed boxes - specific for bees- or pink insulation board but discouraged “bee was” because of breathability)
I was in my boxes today… wondering if they are ready for winter or if I need to supplement food now (if yes, my preference would be to remove and drain the honey super and then feed some of that back to them) My hive is 2 brood boxes and a flow super.
* My flow super (which has mostly full frames of capped honey, but both outside sides empty) I will drain and remove in the next bit of time (suggestions appreciated as to when)
* My upper has 7 frames almost fully capped honey, 3 frames capped brood with about 30% capped honey. it weighs 50+ lbs my husband thinks
* My lower box is significantly lighter 3 frame drawn out comb with some brood and honey, 2 frame with capped brood, drone brood and pollen, 2 frame with capped and uncapped brood, 1 frame of honey, 2 frames darker, like they had honey but now see to only have a little bit of brood or pollen. I am including a couple of photos of some of the less filled frames.
My bees were heavily bearding in the summer, not so much now as the evening cools. Lots of day time hive activity… and today while we were in the hive, I would say most frames (including honey super) were 80% covered with bees and then a couple were 50% covered and maybe 3 were 30% covered, if that helps to give a quantity of bees…
Any input is appreciated.