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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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Happy New Year - What is happening in the hive in January and Ordering Bees

      Need Bees: Here is a link to Nature's Nectar Bee Order Form

Dead bees in front of the hive is normal.

 Right now the bees are just hanging out eating honey in the hive. The cluster of bees are enveloping a frame or two of honey. The bees are consuming the honey for nourishment and to produce heat for their cluster.

The winter so far has been very good for the bees. No extreme weather. no below zero winter blast with bone chilling windchill. The bees should be in the box below the top box right now. Bees consume about 9 - 12 lbs of honey a month this time of year. That is about a frame to a frame and a half of honey. So since the first of November, the bees have consumed about 2 - 3 frames of honey. The month of January is the transition month. Usually sometime in late January, the bees will start a slow transition into the top box. If you fed your bees properly, there is at least 8 frames of honey in the top box. By the time the bees get into the top box, there will be about 4 - 6 weeks of cold winter left before beekeepers can feed syrup. 

 This week the temperatures will be in the 30's and sunny. I expect to see bees going out on cleansing flights. Many bees will not make it back to the hive and the ground surrounding the hive will become littered with the corpses of dead bees. This is normal behavior. Many bees that are dying, are bees that are on the end of their normal life span. Bees would rather die outside and away from the hive when possible. The warm weather also aides the cluster to be able to slightly reorient to maybe another frame of honey. So if a big cold blast comes, the bees would be on ample food stores to survive the short term below zero spell.

 The days are starting to get longer, the sun intensity will get stronger, making the bees an easier time keeping the hive warm during sunny days. If we can stay away from any extended below zero weather, we may have some very good overwintering reports come February.

Need Bees: Here is a link to Nature's Nectar Bee Order Form