local-honey-bee-suppliesRJ Honey Farm

Winter Beekeeping #3

winter-weighing-beehive

You've almost made it to the next beekeeping year. Don't let them die now.

What will kill them?

Animals. I went to do a winter inspection today and saw little paw prints in the snow. Bees are a good food source for hungry critters this time of year. We keep our hives on two concrete blocks. This has worked to keep the hives high enough to deter critters from a winter snack.

Starvation. I weighed my hives. Several will need supplemental feed now. Most haven't lost much weight. But they will. Soon the maples will bloom and brood production will ramp up. Weights will drop like a rock. Make sure they have enough stores.

Losing bees this time of year because of starvation is very sad. This is mostly a beekeeper mismanagement error. Add a candy board if you are unsure. It is cheap insurance and beats having to start over due to dead bees.

What else did I do?

Look: Were they flying? That's a good sign.

Listen: Not flying? Put my ear to the side of the hive, rapped and listened for a happy hum.

Maintenance: is the entrance clogged with dead bees? Use the hive tool to clean them out.

Just a few more months.

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