About 2 weeks ago, I finished getting my girls ready for the winter. I had been feeding them since the beginning of fall, so that they wouldn't need to use their winter stores until winter really settled in. Where I work we had lots of scrap foam padding, they we use for packaging fragile parts. The foam comes in continuous rolls approx. 36" X 240". I was able to cut up a nice section, that I wrapped around the outside of the hives. The brown foam is about 3/4" thick and quite soft. So, each hive has a wrap of soft foam on the exterior of the hive. (sides only) . The foam should deaden the effects of the strong westerly winds that are common in the winter in our area. Continuous winds of 40 mph are common during the winter months. I left space at the top of the hive for air flow and at the entrance as well. The lower entrances are restricted in size to prevent entry by mice, which are very common here.
I had carefully placed the hives behind a set of small pines, which will protect them from the predominate westerly winds. I don't know what more I could have done.
I noticed that the girls had driven out all of the drones when the weather started to turn colder; this resulted in piles of dead drones, located just beyond the entrance to the hives.
In the last week, eastern Washington has had quite a bit of snow fall and fairly cold nights. ( 5 degrees F.) On Tuesday, I check everything and all seems fairly secure.
Having said all that ................ Is there anything else I should be doing, besides getting ready for next year?