Here’s a 24-minute behind-the-scenes video that documents what I was doing with my bees in October 2017:
There’s more talking than showing and I pause the video several times to briefly discuss topics brought up in the video. The run time was originally 19 minutes but my voice-over diversions add another 5 minutes. Even though the video doesn’t show any hive inspections (I’m usually done with hive inspections for the year by then anyway), it covers a fair bit of ground, including:
01:30 — The difference between a hive and a colony. “Colony” is what we mean to say, but instead we say things that don’t make any sense like, “The hive swarmed and died.”
03:20 — The benefits of having more than one hive, especially when starting out.
07:00 — I’ve kept bees in St. John’s, Logy Bay, Portugal Cove and now Flatrock (see the Google maps link for location) and Flatrock is clearly the coldest place I’ve kept bees so far and, subsequently, they probably need some special care.
09:00 — The importance of having neighbours who don’t mind the bees. BIG TIP FOR CHEMICAL ENGINEERS: A spray-on cleaner that can easily remove or even dissolve bee poop on cars or plastic siding could be a strong seller among urban or suburban beekeepers.
12:50 — A comment about late-seasons drones, which seems strange until you consider that we’re on the island of Newfoundland where nothing happens on time.
15:15 — 12 deep frames of honey in Newfoundland is supposedly enough to keep island honey bees alive all winter. That seems accurate in my experience so far. It’s probably even less honey for honey bees with Russian genetics.
17:00 — A review of what I plan to do with the hive in preparation for winter, including one last hit of syrup, shrew-proofing mesh, insulation, etc. (I mention adding mesh to the top of the hive, but I don’t always go that far these days.)
20:00 — Discussing the possibility of painting my hives black. Yup, it’s a bit bonkers.
21:50 — Noticing the bees working the bottom of the hive for the first time in a long time. I take that as a good sign. To me it means the bees are clustering below their honey stores, which is exactly what I want them to do before winter.
22:40 — Removing mesh and watching some bees removing drones from the hive.
The video ends with a wasp (or yellow jacket) getting pulled from the hive.
P.S.: Yes, I’m aware that my thumb is in many of the shots.
Check out my Month of October category for a sense of things that might happen for backyard beekeepers on the east coast of the island of Newfoundland in the month of October.