This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Our cold weather

I am expecting this last blast of cold weather not to have been too hard on the bees. This coming week the temperatures will be moderating back to the 20's and maybe a 30 in there. This should give the bee cluster a break to reorganize a bit in the hive. Hopefully they can move onto a fresh frame of honey. Bees will be going out on cleansing flights this week if it is sunny.
Moving into this part of January if I lifted the top cover I would expect to see the bees would have moved up into the top box.
This is the warmest part of the hive. The queen should be getting ready to start laying within the next two or three weeks. The spring build up of the bee population will begin at that time.
If we have a cold blast like the one that came in this past week three weeks from now, there will be widespread colony loss. There will be brood in the hive by then and the bees will starve to death keeping it alive.
As the queen starts laying, food consumption in the hive will go up. Bees can get caught by cold weather on a frame that has been depleted of honey. Starvation can occur if the cluster of bees can't move to a new frame of honey.
I will be looking at my colonies in mid Feb to check the alive/dead status in case I need to order package bees to replace dead outs.