Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Post Sandy Rooftop Status

With winds expected to gust north of 60 miles per hour, we got lots of inquiries from our rooftop beekeeping friends about the security of their hives in prep for Sandy.  Indeed, the entire east coast was on alert, and the eye took a path west only a little more than 100 miles north of us in DC.

We think ratchet straps work great for keeping boxes together when they are light (empty of honey or brood) and the colony is only newly established.  However for more mature hives, the weight of the boxes combined with the propolis the bees use to glue them together makes for a difficult mass to topple.  Usually a brick or rock on the lid will keep the cover from blowing off, and that's all you need.

Sandy was a test of this theory...and our results turned out well for our colonies.

These hives are aligned along the rooftop coping that separates our townhouse from our neighbors, oriented in a north/south alignment.  There is little shelter from wind at this level the the exception of a chimney, and some slightly taller homes across the street to the north.
While soaked to the bone and with no activity at the entrances (the temp today is about 45 degrees) all the hives survived without incident.

I hope everyone else had a similar happy experience!