Last week I got the hive ready for winter. This included wrapping the whole outside of the hive with black tar paper which absorbs heat and helps keep the hive (and bees) warm. This will help the bees keep the swarm between 90-95 degrees through the winter. Bees like to stay cozy.
I left the small entrance uncovered so that the bees could still go in and out if needed or if it’s warm enough during the day to forage. In about another week or so, the bees will stay inside the hive (except to use the ladies’ room) until about March as a type of hibernation. When the temperatures rise and show signs of spring, the bees will begin to come out and forage again.
The hive seems strong and should make it through the winter. We do get a few months of snow and freezing temperatures in our area so this will be the true test as to whether or not we prepared them well.