I have been overwhelmed as of late. I can't put my finger on the exact cause of this feeling but it is there just the same and it has been crushing my productivity.
Nonetheless, Monday (12/4/17) I finally managed to winterize my hives. It went very well despite working in a light misty rain. However, it was warm and the bees were agreeable.
B.1.1 is small and should make it through the winter but I doubted it could survive another beetle attack. So I closed up both hives and left them separated.
Only time will tell if this was the right decision.
On a personal note: My mother-in-law past away on Tuesday (12/5/17). She has been sick for years with a mental condition that mimics dementia and over the past couple of years she had required full-time care. The task was divided amongst my mother, nephew, daughter, son, paid sitters, me, and my wife (the order of those names gives the magnitude of contribution with about 90% of it falling on me and my wife).
It has been exhausting. Her passing feels like a blessing but saying that feels selfish and cold. My wife has now lost both of her parents in the past 18 months and that breaks my heart for her. Just the same, I am sure that the reduced stress of caring for her mom will actually make her life infinitely better - once she has finished grieving of course.
I don't know if my feelings of being overwhelmed are significantly linked to my mother-in-law or if I am just lazy. The weeks to come will answer that question. Either way, 2017 is coming to an end and Spring will be here before you know it.
I have two goals for next year: 100 hives and mastering queen rearing. I think I'll make a chart to hang in the shop and mark off each hive as I build it - then do the same in the spring and mark them off as I fill them with bees.
BTW: My chickens started laying eggs the day before Thanksgiving and I am getting an egg every day now.