November is almost gone and the garden and beeyard are both very quiet. Temps were mild yesterday and there were a good many bees out enjoying the sun, but a cold rain is falling today and there is a possibility of snow by mid-week. We enjoyed a dusting on Thanksgiving day. I have raised the hives so I can clean debris from beneath the screened bottom boards. I can also pack with insulation if the winter temperatures are extreme. Entrance reducers are also in place for the cold even though the bees didn't like them at first. Being the adaptable little creatures they are, it didn't take them long to feel comfortable with the reduced space. I have also reversed the inner cover providing an airspace over the frames in the shallow super. I'll monitor the entrance reducers when we have snow to keep the entrance from becoming entirely closed and affecting circulation in the hives. Both hives are heavy with capped honey, but I'll keep a check on weight and feed if I feel is necessary.
The garden is still productive with turnip greens, onions and herbs. Other than rosemary, my herbs overwinter very nicely. It was good to be able to have fresh sage, parsley and onions to season the Thanksgiving bird. I took advantage of the warm weather yesterday and dug out a bed of phlox that was growing next to the fence. I'm going to plant cucumbers there next spring as it's a great place for the cukes to climb. I shoveled on about 4 inches of compost and organic matter in the space. Last week I ordered 3 ligonberry plants from Stark's Nursery and they should arrive today. Ligonberries are also known as Mountain Cranberries and should do very well in my mountain garden since they like the same growing conditions as blueberries - acidic soil. They can tolerate cold winters and also like some shade in the afternoons. I hope the blooms will be another good source of nectar and pollen for my bees.