Trying new ways of wintering [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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KevinWI
12-07-2019, 04:36 AM
All beekeeping is local.

I am still working on a configuration that works for me in central WI.
Starts with mite treatment, enough winter stores and a decent size cluster....

Doing shook swarms to some of my colonies worked well in alleviating crowding in some colonies to prevent post honey flow swarms while simultaneously boosting weaker colonies to allow them to better prep for winter.

this year I got behind the eight ball due to my commercial beekeeping job keeping me until dark all fall, so getting them fed was a chore and not satisfied with the gains as it got colder quicker than I'd hoped and bees stopped taking down syrup in the frame feeders I decided to go with...had I gone with buckets directly over the cluster, they may have taken more and quicker.

That all said, this year I am trying new things as far as configurations.

All my 10 frame boxes have wide open entrances with #4 hardware cloth. Some are single brood box, some are brood box with 9 frame super above and some are double.

My 5 frame nucs, some are double, one is triple and a couple are single......difference with the entrances is that I use a pinwheel 3/4" entrance.....which has not been a friend in the winter due to bees piling up at the bottom and blocking air venting....then moisture starts building and snowballs...I may have to rethink how I winter bees in nucs after this season....

All hives have 2" foam board on top of the reflectix inner cover I use to prevent condensation from forming. I chose not to wrap my colonies, but most were slid together to share common walls

Have to keep experimenting with new ways until settling on a system that works. We'll see come spring.