We finally got a nice warm weekend where I could go out to Hye and check on the girls. I had seen some things online about people’s hives absconding in December because it was so warm, and someone else posted a picture of a mouse that got into their hive and ate a hole in the frame then built a nest. I started getting nervous bc I hadn’t checked on them in 3 weeks, and bc we have a LOT of mice on the ranch, so I was happy to have time to go visit.
There wasn’t much to do. Each hive still had plenty of sugar and lots of honey. Hive 2 is still really weak, but they seem to be maintaining the status quo, which is all I can really hope for over the winter. If it gets warm soon, hopefully Kona will start laying again and increase the colony size so they can build out frames and store more honey.
Hive 3 had a lot of ants crawling up the side and inside the box. I killed as many as I could then sprinkled cinnamon around the box. From what I’ve read ants don’t like cinnamon, so we’ll see if that will keep them out.
I also added grease boards to the bottom of each box. This does two things: it keeps a bit more of the cool air out, and by putting vegetable oil on the board, if beetles or mites fall to the bottom of the hive, they get stuck in the grease and can’t get back into the hive.
That’s all for now. I’ll keep you posted as we check in on them.