As a returning beekeeper from the 1950’s n 60’s I know what it was like to winter over back then… 1. Healthy bee, 2. Good queen, 3. Plenty of stores, 4. Keeping them dry … Now I live in Puget Sound so our winters are normal not a deep-freeze 20 ms SE of Seattle in the foothills.
I am going into the pre-get ready stuff. Making sure I first have a healthy colony n queen. My mite count (didn’t worry about this in my teen years) was moderate so knew this was going to effect my five hives to some point … I can afford (not going back to square one) loss any of my hives… So
treatment was neccesary … chose Mite Away Strip)… The treatment is now behind me … Seeing the mass of dead mite on the SBBoard cleaned off every other day told me they were loaded !
I will be rechecking my hives winter supply of honey again this weekend if weather improves. Three of my hives are close to having more than enough. One larger causing it to not forage like its sister n one is a new 5 frame Late Summer Nuc that could use some help.
I also busy cutting out n assembling special winter moisture absorbent Quilts to add to the top of my hives. We will be going thru winter with double deep 5, 8 or 10 frame setup.
Now… As for next season … I won’t be adding the upper honey-Super (including the Flow-frame super) until I have a good number of brood, 75 to 80% (like Dee mentioned) n probably evidence of a good flow … Bees really don’t move up until there’s a need.
. That’s my thots n plan … Gerald