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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Nampa, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Winterizing Bees

    Hey guys I have a TBH and a lang style hive. This will be my first winter and to insure they have plenty of honey to get through the winter I didn't take any honey this year. Both hives are full of honey so I'm thinking we should be good. What I'm not sure about is what I need to do to the hives? Do I insulate them? Close them up except for one opening? Or what? Also do you check your hives in the winter or leave them until spring? Also when do you do what? If you could give me a good run down on what to do and when that would be great.

    Thanks
    SSS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Default Re: Winterizing Bees

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#winter

    I just make sure the bees are clustered at one end and there is solid stores until the stores end. Better yet, if there are empty bars have them first, then the cluster and then the stores. But if you have a follower, just close off the empty space.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Winterizing Bees

    Bee Keeping is LOCAL !

    I am 1200 miles from you, what works for me here in Missouri, I'm sure won't work for You, different temperatures, different winter lengths, altitudes etc.

    You need local advice !

    Just making one broad statment, Don't open them up in the winter when it is below 57 degrees unless you have a very, very good reason and then it should be durn quick.

    Again look for local help.

    Of Course I have been wrong before !!

    PCM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Winterizing Bees

    Good suggestions. Local help is always available, however, visit my site for a few more pointers: http://greenanything.yolasite.com on the Honey Bee page. There only needs to be two or three openings in the hive. One, the entrance is about 1/2" tall by 1-2" wide. Two, the inner lid should have a radiused notch taken out for a vent or top exit. Three, could drill a 3/4" hole in the front of the top super for a vent. I would not recommend this cause of heat loss. I'm going to insulate my hives with a white plastic water heater insulation. Also made a hive entrance reducer on the site. The book says 60-70 pounds of honey per hive (small hive). Easily this is one full honey super in weight. This should secure your colonies for the winter. Also, there are pollen patties to supplement their needs. Let them make their own food.

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