Preparing for next season

The end of the season was sad. One of our hives didn’t make it.  So we are left with one hive, and to be honest it was always the stronger of the two, more populated and active.  Nonetheless, we were hoping they would be with us a while longer.  

Spring is just around the corner, so we decided that we need to move the hive to another better exposed spot. The location we chose was far enough from the main house so that we wouldn’t bother each other. Everyone needs their space 😉 however our hamlet is built on a hill side and is terraced. We are in the mountains, not too high (600m), but sometimes we get snow.  Back in the day, it was an agricultural area, and they raised sheep.  Today we are surrounded by chestnut trees and a brook in the ravine below, and there are still sheep, but only forest, no agricultural fields. We had placed the bees on a terrace below the house, close to the brook. With all the trees and the humidity, it probably wasn’t the best spot, although bees adapt…

We built a wood shed on a terrasse closer to the house, and exposed southeast.  They are protected from the northern wind and get the first sun in the morning. And the more sun the ladies get, the happier they are 🙂  In the winter this is more important, since where we are, the sun doesn’t get very high.  It only creeps over the facing mountain in the late morning, and goes down early in the afternoon. Anyhow, it’s a much better spot, on the edge of a terrasse (they like to be high up) and can easily take off to look for pollen and nectar. The shed also protects them from flying towards the pool or the terrace where we eat in the summer. Although, I must say they aren’t very interested in us or our food. 

We moved the ladies to their new spot in the sun. (The mini-hive shown which is to capture colonies when they swarm, is empty). In addition, there’s an easy access for us, when we need to go check how the ladies are doing 🙂