Anyway, things were going pretty good until one morning in November when the thin rope holding the bait hive broke out of the top of it due to how heavy it had gotten, plus a little rain. The whole shebang dropped about six feet to the ground, but remained upright. Now the bees didn't seem to mind this at all, and they seemed to like the larger hole in the top of the flowerpot, it was a nicer entrance. But the weather here in Oregon was getting cold and rainy, puddles were forming on the ground around the crashed hive. I was in the middle of several other dire emergencies, but I knew I had better find them some better place to live -- immediately. I had no empty wooden equipment for them, and no time to use the table saw to build another Warré. I couldn't get to Glorybee to even buy a Lang box or two.
The next day I headed for my local big-box hardware store and got a large plastic bin big enough to cover the bait hive so that it would be protected from the weather until I could do justice to the colony with new digs. Well, in the middle of trying to fit the bin over the top of the hive, I had this flash of inspiration: If I just laid the bait hive on its side inside the bin and put the cover on it would be a very secure box for them to live in. (I remembered that beek wisdom: "It doesn't matter what kind of box you choose, it's what you put inside it.") Wallah, I had an instant bee hive!
Anyway, just for now, just during the rest of winter the emergency is over. The emergency hive is successful. I might even patent the idea.
P.S. The bees seem to like to land on the paper label on the bin before they climb into the entrance, or they land on the lid and then crawl down into the entrance gap. I'm considering building them a landing board. The bucket on top is the apiary's rain bucket (filled with corks that float in the water so they have a place to stand and drink.) It secures the bin lid so that storm winds don't blow it off. Yeah, it's a little messy around the hives. I know! I gotta rake up the debris from winter and generally police the area. It's still the middle of winter, this is the first day it hasn't been totally raining, and I'm totally into remodeling the kitchen.
I religiously tend the Boardman feeders though, rain or shine. The bee gals are bringing in lots of Alder pollen right now; and with fair arriving earlier and earlier each year, we can look forward to lots more nectar soon.