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View Full Version : What Is The Proper Way To Winterize a Hive?



Bob D
10-25-2005, 02:08 PM
This is my first hive and first wintering. We are in SE New Hampshire. I know I'm running late, but can someone tell me the proper steps to winterize?

I have the black paper cut to size to wrap the hive (2 deeps). Now, do I split the 2 deeps, put the chemical strips in the lower deep (about 2 or 3 frames in on each side)? Then, is there something else I'm supposed to mix and spread around the edges?

Do I leave the strips in all winter, or take them out sometimes in November?

Anything else?

Michael Bush
10-25-2005, 04:30 PM
>This is my first hive and first wintering. We are in SE New Hampshire. I know I'm running late, but can someone tell me the proper steps to winterize?

I'd put #4 hardware cloth over the entrance to keep the mice out. Make a top entrance either with a notch in the inner cover or prop up the outer cover or whatever so the bees can get out when there is snow or dead bees blocking the bottom entrnace. I would remove any queen excluder (if you use one) so the queen won't get stuck below it if the cluster moves up a box and I'd make sure the hive is heavy with stores.

>I have the black paper cut to size to wrap the hive (2 deeps).

I've never wrapped but those who do seem to think it's a good idea.

>Now, do I split the 2 deeps, put the chemical strips in the lower deep (about 2 or 3 frames in on each side)?

Hmmmm. Well I don't use any strips. What kind of strips are you using? Apistan? Checkmite? Oxamite? Always follow the directions. I've never owned any Checkmite so I have no idea on that. The Apistan says to put the strips where the bees are. If the main cluster of bees is in the bottom box, then put them there, if it's in the top box then put them there.

>Then, is there something else I'm supposed to mix and spread around the edges?

Like what? Myabe you're thinking of Terramycin? Some people use Terramycin with powdered sugar. I don't. In fact, I never have. Last time I used TM was back when they still recommended putting it in syrup. That was about 1975.

>Do I leave the strips in all winter, or take them out sometimes in November?

If you use them, take them out when the instructions say. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Do NOT leave them in all winter.

Problems with leaving them in:

After the efficacy wears off where it won't kill the mites you now have a sublethal dose to contribute to mites being resistant to the poison.

All the time the strips are in the wax is being contaminated. The longer you leave them the more contamination. This leads to sterile drones, failing queens and generally failing hives.

All the time the strips are in the hive they are poisoning the bees. Anything that kills mites will kill bees. Luckily the Apistan is usually at sublethal doses for the bees. Sublethal is not equal to healthy. It just means it probably won't kill them. I'm not so sure if you leave the checkmite in all winter.

newbee 101
10-25-2005, 05:04 PM
I think it is too late for Apistan to work in New England. By my estimates you will have to pull the strips out in December. (at least 42 days) You need warm days to be effective (50 degrees)
Someone correct me if I am wrong.

[ October 25, 2005, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: newbee 101 ]

Aspera
10-25-2005, 06:43 PM
If you already put Apistan in, then you might as well just leave it until Thanksgiving or so. You can also try the powdered sugar/oxytet thing but it really isn't necessary in your case, and it will cost you some $$$.

Pat Brady
10-25-2005, 09:44 PM
Have you check for mites? If you don't have any mites or very low count, than I would not use Apistan, but would go ahead and do as MB said.
Good Luck