We have had some warm days this week. High enough in temperature to open the hives and confirm that all three are well, although one is perhaps not as strong as the other two. They should make it through the rest of the coming months. While observing we have a chance to add large tablets of sugar to help them through this dangerous time of the season. The tablets are made up by combining six cups of sugar to one cup of water. This mix is boiled, stirred and poured into paper plates once the water has boiled off. A few drops of lemongrass essence is dripped onto the plate to attract the bees before being placed directly above the bee cluster. This last step takes no longer than ten seconds to keep the heat loss to a minimum.
The images show how the hives are wrapped for winter. The bee clusters are now at the top of the second brood box. They would have emptied many of the lower panels of honey and have risen to feed off the upper supply. The added sugar tablets are an insurance process.