I did the switch-over last month. The brood boxes are heavy at this time of year, so it was a two-person job. Fortunately, the bees' landlord, Nev, was on hand to assist!
Regular readers will remember the incident last year when I found a false widow spider living under one of the hand-holds on the brood box of hive #2. I certainly remembered - and made sure to check under the hand-holds this time, before moving the brood boxes. I'm glad I did, as a peek at the back of brood box #2 revealed this:
Fortunately, this time I was prepared to face my nemesis. And, naturally, as a committed enemy of spider-kind, there was only one course of action - a swift blow from the blunt end of my hive tool. This particular spider did not live to see another day.
The last task was undertaken today, when I put the mouse-guards onto the hive. These are perforated metal strips with holes large enough to let bees in and out, but small enough to prevent any mice from getting into the hive. They look like this:
|Mice not welcome.|
Now that the final tasks of the season are complete, I can relax and leave the bees to their own devices until the warmer weather comes in the spring.