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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Door County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12

    Default Cold Weather In Northern Wisconsin

    We had some heavy snow recently and on Jan 31, after 8" of snow and low temps (0 wind chill), I was cleaning the snow off of the hive entrance at Mid Day and six (6) bees flew out of the hive entrance and immediately fell into the snow on the ground. The bees were motionless so I gently picked them up and placed them near the entrance of the hive which was now clear of snow. This is my first year with a hive going through winter..the hive is in a sheltered area, but the heavy snow fall stil collected on the hive. I have it wrapped in tar paper and bored a hole in the upper deep near the top for added ventilation. Any ideas out there or is this normal behavior for bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Cold Weather In Northern Wisconsin

    When ya gotta go, you gotta go!

    Probably the lack of air flow in the hive from the snow on the landing board raised the temperature a bit inside and the bees thought it was warmer than it was. I'd not worry about six bees!

    Good news is that you have live bees in there -- be prepared for a number of dead bees to appear the first warm days you get, as they will immediately start dumping out the dead ones that collected over winter, and wont' fly very far, unlike when the weather is warm.

    Another reason to leave a small upper entrance.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Cold Weather In Northern Wisconsin

    Perfectly normal. The disturbance might be the reason they all came out at once. Hang on in there, spring is on it's way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Re: Cold Weather In Northern Wisconsin

    Leave the snow on the hives! It does nothing but good. When it is warm enough for them to be out, the snow will have melted, especailly since you have a hole bored in the upper hive body. Snow does NOT smother bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,735

    Default Re: Cold Weather In Northern Wisconsin

    I rarely move the snow off the hives and when I do, it's only because I need to get at them for some reason (restack hay bale or re-tack tar paper).
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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