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.

Search This Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Covered my hives - finally

 I got lazy with the warm temperatures and no snow that we have been enjoying. The cool temperatures are perfect winter weather conditions. Cold enough that bees shouldn't raise anymore brood, but warm enough that the demand on stored food would be minimal. If this winter comes out to be a warm one, colonies that normally would starve, will be thriving. This happened several years ago when it was a warm winter. During that winter, if a hive had 40 lbs of honey, they survived. 

 So I covered my hives yesterday. I did get to my sugar cakes that I made in a previous video. I made 3 cakes. 2 in a plastic pan and 1 in a 2 lb rubber beeswax block mold. The beeswax block mold held together pretty good. The 2 plastic pan sugar blocks did not fair well. I think they were too thin and ended up structurally deficient. The pan cakes broke apart and were still a little damp on the bottom. Hindsight tells me to make the cakes with a wooden frame with a cardboard bottom. Doing it this way, the cakes could be turned over and allow to dry on two sides instead of one.

The sugar broke up in chunks. Still usable but I needed plan B. You can see the sugar brick from my beeswax mold in the center held together quite well.
Wax paper works great for putting sugar on a hive. The bees can chew up the wax paper as they eat the sugar, making it easier for the bees to access
I added a shim to the top of the hive for room to stack up the sugar
This hive was short of stores and may not make it. I put down a sheet of wax paper on top of the cluster.
This hive was also short on stores.
Sugar is placed on top of the wax paper. The sugar could simply be granulated sugar, but I used the sugar chunks and some loose sugar. The bees will be able to get to the sugar easily.
This is what the top of the hive looked like. On top of the top box is a shim, inner cover and moisture board.

I have two hives short on stores in this yard. Notice I have two bricks up on end, now I can remember which hives have the sugar on. Later in winter, I can check these two hives to see if they need more sugar.