After 3 seasons (it's trying to be the 4th; like winter early here) of interesting learning,that often had me on my toes or doing research, I THINK I'm done manipulating my hive for 2013. Ha...."famous last words" I have a Golden Mean hive that filled and lost a swarm in June but just the one. The daughter-queen did great,built the hive to full by August,and despite my fretting and wondering if they'd swarm again, my bees have done things "by the book" mostly since then. I did have one last "problem" to fix before winter which was the brood nest was split with several nectar combs in between. I used some thymol(ApiLife Var) for mite treatment and I think the queen moved away from the stink by the original "surrounded" brood area. So a couple of days ago I got all the brood together in the "front" again so they can work their way back though all the honey over the winter(I hope). I saw early this morning they were all clustered in the front again (it was half in front half in the middle before)so it looks good.They are Carniolans and have Really reduced their brood and backfilled all drone and half the former brood combs to nectar and honey. On nice days they are still finding pollen too. I'm proud of my "kids"-giggle. No matter how it goes during the dreaded over-wintering I'm content that I've done my Best..... although sometimes I overdid it or underdid it or blew it! as a "keeper"!
Here's for the other newbies ,breathing deep for 2013, and winding down except for feeding and insulating--- I hope you all LOVE this new aspect of your life as much as I do