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Fall Cleaning and Winter Prep

This weekend I took advantage of the poor weather and spent some time at the Foothills Learning Center cleaning up the storage shed. I've found that the FLC storage shed is prone to wax moths and mice so my #1 goal of the day was to prepare the equipment for winter storage that prevented these critters. 


My first step was taking everything out of the shed so I could properly stack and organize. Once everything was out I swept aside the mouse poop so the boxes would lay flat on the ground for storage. This is where I should have brought a broom (and mask!) but I didn't so I'll be back with that for a final literal sweep. During this process, I found the culprit of the mouse poo. Poor guy died in one of the supers!


Once everything was laid on out the grass I took inventory of the equipment so that I could prepare new equipment this winter. As you can see from the photo below, the FLC has plenty of honey supers and just three spare deeps. I also found that we didn't have enough deep frames to fill those boxes and that the frames in them were pretty old and a lot of them were plastic (and I hate plastic frames). This winter I'm hoping to order some new supplies for next spring. 

In storage we have:
7 honey supers
1 honey super with only four frames
2 deeps
1 deep with only five frames
2 sugar feeders
6 foam insulations
6 spacers
4 lids
3 inner covers
1 nuc
1 nuc with no frames
10 bottom boards (???)
4 queen excluders


When I put the boxes back I laid one telescoping lid on the ground and stacked inside of that so it would lay flat on the ground. I then stacked neatly and tightly and topped with another telescoping lid. All with the purpose of defeating wax moths and mice (see first photo). For information on preventing wax moths, you can read GloryBee's article or do some more research on your own. At the FLC I used PBD moth balls because of previous wax moth issues. There are alternatives to PBD moth balls, like storing outside with plenty of ventilation and sun (see second photo) and you can also freeze your frames if you have the space. I do this with my parrot's food (moth's also love bird seed!). It works, but it works best if you freeze until use. 

Winter Equipment

I set aside some equipment to prepare the bees for winter, I am going to be adding spacers for candy board space and insulation in the telescoping lid. There's also plenty of things to do for your bee's health this time of year. Check out the club's beekeeper's calendar for some tips.
Stacked boxes at the FLC storage shed
Outside storage option providing plenty of ventilation and sunlight (thanks Mark Nagel!)
For new beeks, here's a simple look at what bees are doing in the winter and why good health and honey stores in the Fall are so important. 
Are you looking for gift ideas and low on honey? Support the FLC apiary and get something sweet in return! 100% raw honey from Boise, Idaho's foothills.

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Apiary managed by Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club volunteers and located at:
Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center
3188 Sunset Peak Rd
Boise, ID 83702

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Mark Nagel · Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club · Boise, ID 83705 · USA

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