Bees don’t read calendars; Winter prep

Following the advice of the local, Canberran keepers, I had my hive feed and closed up for winter by Anzac Day.

All summer, the queen didn’t lay drone cells nor did they hang out in the hive. Now, the nights are cold (near freezing) and drones are flying in and out. The workers are still bringing in quite a bit of pollen and I still see significant numbers of bees doing orientation flights. The debris falling out of the hive show the amount of emerging brood hasn’t slowed down. The coming week is predicted to have warmer nights.

Looking at the behavior of the bees, I terminated the season way too early.

So, how are your bees doing? They acting like it’s winter yet?

What temp ranges do the bees stay in cluster? When do they kick out the drones?

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I checked my hive yesterday, June 7, and they are still not acting like it’s winter. They still have emerging brood. Drones are still present. The amount of pollen they are bringing in has declined over the last week, but they had a flurry of activity on all the camilla that bloomed.

So, over 6 weeks past the advised pack down date, and the bees are not showing signs of setting in for winter.

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