There are a ton of posts in my head, but here's a short one.
The flowers started early, bloomed for shorter periods of time, and stopped blooming earlier in my area. At the end of last season I split several of my hives; this year, I did the opposite, combining some weaker ones together, in the hopes of reducing mortality over the winter. There are still a few gums flowering, but only enough for the hives to maintain their stores, so I'm not tempting fate by harvesting autumn honey or trying to increase my hive numbers. Luckily we don't have to wrap our hives in this climate. I just need to make sure they have enough honey, are out of the wind, and are mouse proof.
While I have a few dozen jars of honey left I don't have enough for market or regular sales. I'm trying not to have to eat store-bought honey this winter. If you really, really need some of my honey, I'm susceptible to bribery.
I'm also basically finished with cutouts and bee rescuing at this time of year, because as the weather cools the odds of bees surviving a cutout drastically decreases. If you've got bees in your wall or cabinet and are keen to save them, wait till spring. Evicting in winter never works out well!
So what do beekeepers do in winter? We read facebook, and worry about our bees, and we build more bee boxes. In my case, I'm also going to show you exactly how I make my boxes and break down for you why I have built them the way I have (expect plans posted before the end of this month). I'll also show you all the tools I've come to use and rely on over the past few years.
Thanks for a great 2015/16 season!