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Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by melvermont, Jun 18, 2017.
How do you winterize your bees?
Winterizing bees is done different ways depending on the region where they are. Post the where you are in your profile.
Here in the north we use 2 deep (some use 3 mediums) inspect the bees mid Sept and start feeding 2:1 syrup if they are lite on stores, they will not take it if their bringing in stuff yet. Some will wrap their hives in October with roofing felt or other insulators.
We always ad a sugar cake on the top bars for our bees too.
then wait for the snow to come and insulate the hives.
Outside of the honey stores you leave, do you treat for mites? What method do you feel is the best? Do you test for mites before treating? I was thinking about using the powered sugar shake test. Opinion??
Yes I treat for mites with the mite away strips (formic acid) and I also treat for Nosema creana with fumigilin B. I use a capping fork to open drone cells and see how many mites are in them waiting to hatch so know they are there. Nosema creana I have never heard of a test for that just treat and be safe.
Well, as I try and learn how I can manage my couple of hives, I end up in analysis paralysis. Thinking too much.
I have two hives going into winter. One was real strong. Plenty of honey from what I can tell. I fed both hives until now.
Today, I took the syrup out and replaced with sugar boards in preparation of colder weather.
Each hive has two supers. I opened the covers and put on a sugar board super I made out of 1x4. I only inspected the lower supers from the top. But it appeared that the strong hive's cluster of bees was very low in the bottom super. I actually could not see any bees from the inner covers point of view. The weaker hive's bees were in the top super.
Does this suggest anything? I removed a lot of dead bees from the strong hive after removing an entrance reducer. The entrance seemed wet.
Weather here is odd, mid 40F range and rain several days in a row with high humidity. That will make for a damp hive, Make sure the hive has a forward lean so the moisture can drain out. Those dead bees at the entrance will also collect the moisture so when you can take a wire (coat hanger) and clean the entrance out every so often.
Also if the weak hive was being fed syrup and their stores were not up to snuff thery will be at the top. Sounds like the strong hive is doing what they should be working from the bottom up and their stores of real honey must be good.
Thanks Al. I will leave the entrance reducer out until to help eliminate any moisture. When I made the sugar board, I made the bottom with a queen excluder. I built the super with small corner boards at a 45 degree. That gives a little air space in the corners. After adding the sugar paste, I put a piece of cardboard over the sugar paste and added some wood shavings. The thought is that the shavings will help absorb some moisture.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
Friend of mine made bags with burlap the size of a hive. Filled them with cedar shavings then put an empty deep on and placed the bags inside.
He clained it did asorbe a lot of moisture. He passed away about 15 years ago. I sure miss that smart old man.
I know I'm a bit late to this thread, but I just recently found this forum. Here's how I winterize my hives:
Thanks for sharing. Very informative video. I will have to check out your other youtube videos.
Welcome to the forum.
Thanks, Art. Glad to have found it!
If you're friends with the local fire department, ask if they'll use a thermal camera to check the hives. That will tell you where the bees are clustered and provide some general info on how well they're doing. Some cameras can be set to lower ranges for use in situations like building inspections.
Good suggestion. I've been toying with the idea of buying a Flir One attachment for my phone. I'll probably wait for them to get a little cheaper.