Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Argyle, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2

    Question How do we prepare for winter

    Hi! We just purchased our first hive, (last week) complete with three supers and an established Italian Bee colony. We are feeding them daily by painting honey on the hive. Temperatures are due to drop here down to about 28 degrees. Should we be adding any insulation or covering to the hive as protection?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: How do we prepare for winter

    Check out what other area bee keepers do for winter.

    I would suspect they do very little other than maybe a wind break to prevailing winds.

    If the top two supers are mostly full of capped honey and nectar, there is no need to be feeding other than the thrill of seeing the bees.

    We're having an early, cold and snowy start to winter. The outside temp is 1.2F and the interior top temp of the hive is 29.7F. And we have some 10 inches of snow.

    Have 2 inches of styrofoam and black roofing paper on the exteriors and insulation in top cover and below bottom board. And just enough ventilation to exhaust moisture.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: How do we prepare for winter

    Mg is right - see what local beeks do. Check with your club.

    You didn't say the supers had honey in them...do they? And where did the honey come from that you are feeding them? There could be some concerns there.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    872

    Default Re: How do we prepare for winter

    What Seymore and mgolden said, plus be careful 'painting' honey on the hive. That is one of the best ways to start a robbing frenzy. I say frenzy because I have never seen a calm robbing. Robbing is the best way to get in trouble with colony strength and stores being depleted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: How do we prepare for winter

    Not a good idea to feed them honey from an unknown source as you may be introducing a disease. As spores can survive in the honey.

    Better to use sugar. Mix 5 parts sugar to 3 parts boiling water. Stir until dissolved. When its cold, put in a plastic ziplock bag.

    Just poke several holes in the bag after you put it inside the roof, on the inner cover.

    Temps should be above 12C / 54F when feeding.

    Matthew Davey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Argyle, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2

    Smile Re: How do we prepare for winter

    Thank you all for great info/advice. We bought an established hive from someone who is a 3rd generation beekeeper, with many, many hives. He sold us the food when we bought the hive. I think it will last thru the winter and then will follow directions on the sugar/water feed. I just was concerned about the cold. However, Texas winters tend to be more mild. What I am seeing is that this part of the country, tar paper and wind buffers seem to work best. So, then I have one more question. When we bought the hive we were told to paint the food on every day for them, even throughout the winter. Any comments on this? Sorry, as I said, we are nu-bees!

    Tracey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,002

    Default Re: How do we prepare for winter

    Quote Originally Posted by HickoryHillHoney View Post
    We bought an established hive from someone who is a 3rd generation beekeeper, with many, many hives.
    Quote Originally Posted by HickoryHillHoney View Post
    When we bought the hive we were told to paint the food on every day for them, even throughout the winter.
    While the seller may have told you "to paint honey on the hives every day", you can bet that if he has "many, many hives", that is not a practice that he engages in himself. For one, there simply isn't time to do do that on a daily basis. If you do need to feed them, the advice offered by MattDavey is a reasonable, inexpensive way to feed. You could also put the honey in the baggie in place of the sugar syrup, if you want, and are confident that the honey provided by the seller is truly safe. Avoid opening the hive on cold days, if you can.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,453

    Default Re: How do we prepare for winter

    Not to say the beekeeper that sold you the hive is ignorant, but painting frames with honey is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in 40 + years of beekeeping.
    The bees need as much food as brood. When they have a frame of honey for every frame of brood. They have enough.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads