The winter of 2017-18 proved to be a deadly one for the majority of honeybee owners and their respective colonies. Many suffered losses up to 90 per cent. Trust me when I say that there is nothing more depressing than cleaning out a dead hive. Because honey bees are not native to North America and its often extreme weather swings, temperature often plays a factor on the health and survival of the honey bee, along with other factors like tracheal and varroa mites. This is why good hive management practices are so important.
After replenishing the bee stock, we had wanted to find a way to get the bees through the winter without significant losses. Consequently, we decided to create a “bee cottage.” This is essentially a portable outdoor building to house the honeybees over the winter. They do this in Europe at higher altitudes, so it is our hope that if we can control the 25 degree-Celcius temperature swings over the course of a 24-hour period, then perhaps we may have a positive effect on the survival of the bees when winter refuses to give up its grip on the landscape.
Below are a series of pictures from the most recent to the beginning of the bee cottage.
South wall entrances completed.
Single entrance up close. West door and two bee entrances.
Enclosed with doors. Roofing almost completed.
Rafters completed. Starting the siding. Two sides and part of the roof.
Four walls & two doors for a cross breeze. Rafters in process.
Two walls and a floor. One wall and a floor.
Floor getting ready for insulation. Insulation for the floor.