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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Friday, September 7, 2007

Wintering: Survival of the Most Prepared

Winter is coming. It is time to get the hives ready.
What we need in a properly prepared hive:
  • A strong population, 10 frames of adhering bees ( bees on both sides ).
  • A young queen that has not been through a winter.
  • 90 - 100 lbs of honey. The top box 8 full frames of honey, one partially filled frame in center of box. It would be nice to have a couple of frames in the box the bee are in. That would be in the middle box in a three high colony or the bottom box in a two high colony.
  • Feed early if the hive doesn't have this amount of honey. The bees take it fast in Sept. they can drain a gallon feeder pail in two or three days. Use 2 : 1 sugar syrup or High Fructose Corn Syrup in the fall.
  • Give the colony two gallons of syrup treated with fumigilan.
  • Make sure colony is as mite free as possible. Treat if needed.
  • A top entrance needs to be kept open all winter.
  • The entrance reducer should be when temperatures start getting in the lower 40's.
  • A moisture release board that lays on top of the inner cover.
  • Cover the hive with a winter cover.