I don’t want to get all Ned Stark on you, but Winter is coming. You are bees of summer and it’s been fun to fly around and explore, but seriously, dudettes, you need to start some serious storage to make it through the winter.
See, this whole socializing and not storing honey business is not going to do you any good. I know, I know, Mr. Neil has been away for awhile and I’ve been busy counting birds this summer and you’ve been able to do your own thing, but that’s because I believed you could handle the responsibility of being an adult worker. And I realize that some of you are Russian Bees and that you have a reputation for keeping the hive small and still surviving the winter. But all of you are bees of summer and bees of the south–what do you know of Winter?
I’m willing to compromise. I know some books say you should have 3 deep brood boxes full of honey to get you through our northern winters, but we’ve had bees do just fine with only 2 boxes. If that’s all you want to do and not give us any excess honey this year–that’s fine. We’ll help you with that. But this business of only using one box and completely ignoring the second is not going to work, you must band together and get to work.
I know you think you’re being clever by filling in any area that violates “bee space” but that’s not enough. And though we will subsidize you with food in a 2 box system well into fall and possibly early winter, we can’t help you come February, that’s when your stores are crucial. And do understand, if you don’t have enough honey, your hive will fail and you will die. And though we will mourn you, we will loot your hive like the Hound loots a corpse.
I love you, but I understand that you are all insects and that you have to do as much for yourself as you can. So, I hope you read my blog between gathering pollen and half-heartedly storing honey to understand how serious I am about your need to bump up production in order to survive the winter. I also hope Mr. Neil doesn’t mind me referencing another writer in a post about our hives.
Your Obedient Beekeeper,