i have three hives i started this year on plasticel foundation. they are finally drawing comb and putting stores away but i am worried that they will not have enough to get them through winter. i live in southern michigan; winters can be long and quite cold. i just put a shallow super of foundation on my strongest hive but now am wondering if i should instead give them a third deep. anyone with similar winter conditions have any ideas? (or anyone at all?) thanks
p.s. i also drilled a 3/4" ventilation hole in thefront of the second hive body, do i need to reduce this or close it completely for winter? thanks again.
Most of us here in The Great Lakes State run two deeps. When it starts to get colder you may want to wrap your hive in black tar paper in order to help absorb some of the suns rays in winter. It will also help if you put some sort of insulation under the wrap of tar paper. Moisture is more of a colony killer than the cold is, vent the top cover to help remove the humidity and eliminate or minimize condensation.
Let us know where in Michigan your from by editing your profile.
Welcome once again and good luck,
Hi Sarah, I live near the Tug Hill Area of NEW York State. Snow fall 7 feet, temp, Jan Feb -30F. I have my hives in medium (3/4) deep suppers 3 of them (that's equivalent to 2 deeps and one shallow), they are Polystyrene hives, screened bottoms boards, with an inner cover. I do not wrap the hives but they are painted a dark color. I have only a 3%-5% loss every year. I have New World Carniolan bees. The key to all this is moisture. That is the biggest killer of bees in winter, also have at least the equivalent of one full deep full of honey. I also in the last week of Feb beginning of March check the hives and see if they still have enough stores. If not I make candy or fondant (similar to queen candy) for them.
thanks for the promt replies! i dont understand what "vent the top cover" means, could you please explain?
i love beekeeping so far and this site is so helpful!
p.s. is ragweed a source of nectar or pollen? we've got lot of it!
oh, i forgot to tell you, i'm in kalamazoo. it's in the southwest area of michigan.
>i dont understand what "vent the top cover" means, could you please explain?