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Accidentally created a Beehive, interested in keeping them healthy without interfering "much" (Australia)

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Accidentally created a Beehive, interested in keeping them healthy without interfering "much" (Australia)

A year or two ago I built a possum box to encourage some local fauna to move out of my roof and into somewhere more appropriate.

While it didn't seem to meet the high standards of my marsupial house guests, it has since become a humble abode for a swarm of bees and they've begun building large disks of honeycomb.

Now I'm more than happy for them to live there, in fact I quite like having them on the property and enjoy the good that bees do, so while I know I could call a local apiarist to collect the hive and relocate it to somewhere sensible, I'm partial to leaving them where they are if at all possible.

The problem is this:

My area gets quite cold in winter (as low as -10 degrees celcius overnight) and, as summer nears its end, I'm worried for the bees this year.

The box they've taken residence in has only one opening: a rectangular 11cm X 12cm entrance, designed for the significantly larger brushtailed possum.

I'm worried this opening, combined with the relatively open box well off the ground, might mean the nest gets too cold during winter and the bees may not manage.

I want to know what I can do to help the hive make it through without having to seriously disturb or relocate the bees.

This may be a longshot and I'm expecting the answer will be "Call a professional to move them to a new hive", but I'm hoping there's a way I can let nature be nature… without also having nature take my bees away.

submitted by /u/Xenton
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