THE FOLLOWING HAS BEEN UPDATED MORE THAN ONCE SINCE IT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED.
This is pretty much what both of my hives look like at this moment (5:00pm, Sept. 20):
Think I should go out and add a concrete block to each of those outer covers? (UPDATE: Bad shelter design. Not a good idea to block the normal flight path to the entrance.)
When I started up my hives 64 days ago, I made sure the bottom boards were raised a little so any rain that got inside would pour out the entrance. But I’ve noticed with some crazy wind and rain we’ve had recently that the rain has been pooling a bit too thick near the entrances. And now we’ve got a hurricane coming that’s being described like this:
“If the worst case scenario pans out [UPDATE: it’s happening], and the storm tracks just east of the Avalon, winds could gust to near 150 km/h across the Bonavista and Avalon Peninsulas [where I live]. This would do significant damage and would cause widespread power outages… Rainfall amounts between 50 and 150 millimetres are expected by Tuesday evening [24 hours from now] with the highest amounts expected over the Burin and Avalon peninsulas [that’s me!]. This is a warning that significant rainfall is expected in these regions.”
I can’t angle the bottom boards any more than they already are without pulling the hives apart, so as a temporary measure, I’ve placed boards over the entrances to keep the wind and rain out. You can’t tell from the photos, but the rain is already pouring down fast. The bees are hunkered down. I plan to keep the boards over the entrances until the hurricane has passed.
The next 24 hours are going to be fun.
UPDATE (Sept. 21, 12:25pm): Streets are flooding around the city. Bridges are washing out. Towns are declaring states of emergency around the province. It’s bad. I’m at work in downtown St. John’s and the lights are blinking once in a while. We’ll probably loose power soon. More info and photos at CBC.ca/nl.
UPDATE (1:50pm): The boards were disorienting the bees, so I re-jigged everything and made a little roof over the entrances instead. I’ve decided for next year, I’m going to design a top cover that pours water off the non-entrance side of the hive, and a bottom board that drains out the front better (I might just switch to screened bottom boards). The worst of the hurricane has yet to make it to St. John’s. Honey bee hives in the Clarenville area of the province (where a state of emergency has been declared) are likely to be washed out with half the roads. This is not a good day.
UPDATE (6:50pm): All the apples got knocked off the tree behind our shed. Leaves and branches are strewn all over the place. Everything in my vegetable garden got flattened down to the ground. Hive #1 has a large number of dead drone
larvae pupae on the bottom board again. I still don’t like that, but I guess the bees know what they’re doing. Hive #2 looks fine. Neither of the hives blew over. If they can make it through this weather, they can make it through anything.