Winter is the Season to Slow Down
By Lindsay Wilson
From April and through to May, June and July, things just slow down in our hives; the queen is not laying so many eggs.
We have our hives going from 60,000 bees, with some 15,000 developing in their cells down to just 8 – 10 thousand bees. With some of us that live in the colder areas of Australia, our queen may stop laying eggs all together, just for a week or so. You’ll have closed down your hives, moving the hive mat down. Unlike people in the northern hemisphere, our weather is much kinder to us and to our bees over winter. They still go to work each day; it all comes down to what flowering plants are in your area and of course the temperature.
There are some good things in life which you don’t have to pay for, that can give us peace of mind, one is lying in bed, nice and warm and listening to the rain on the tin roof singing me to sleep or looking at a log fire, warming in its glow and so it is with bees, sitting in the garden just looking at them, hard at work and giving me some peace of mind.
Beekeeping is enjoyable for me, even in the off season, but it does mean some jobs still have to be done! What is needed in the months to come? Boxes, frames, roofs and floors to be made up; don’t put them off till spring as you will need the; the good thing is that the weather will slowly cure them for you, no bad smells to turn off your bees in spring.
Your friends and family will know you have taken up beekeeping as an interest and you will get calls from them and it could go something like this – Amy calls and her son’s best mate John’s next door friend has a swarm of bees, we need your help; their problem is somehow yours and you don’t even know that friend. You need to have a bait hive anyway as a fall back for yourself.
This is a good time to make all the hive parts you will need for the upcoming Season.