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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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cold Weather

Cold weather has really arrived. Below zero around the state.
The bees will be in a tight cluster. Eating honey and making heat in the cluster.  The bees can handle the cold as long as there is honey in the hive.
 Beekeepers that may be having a tough time right now are the beekeepers that fed late into November. The late feeders may still have some brood in their colonies. So the bees have to keep the brood warm, consuming more honey to keep the brood warm. This can lead to starvation if the bees deplete all the honey around the brood.
 The best advise I can give to prevent getting into the late season feeding is this. If it is mid August and the top brood box is not full of honey, remove the supers and start feeding then. Waiting to feed, leads to being in pickle in the late season with brood in the hive in December. Not much a beekeeper can do now, but wait until the first hive check around Feb 1st.
 But most of us have heavy top boxes full of honey, we have treated for mites twice in the fall, the hives are covered with a winter wrap and their bees should be as good as they can be for the rigors of winter.
This beekeeper added a plastic tarp windbreak to help stop the cold winter winds. Good southern exposure for some solar heat, full sun on the hives all day.