Advice on helping bees weather a storm?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    St Petersburg, FL, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Advice on helping bees weather a storm?

    Hello! I'm currently in FL and listening to Tropical Storm Colin outside. Today was rainy, yesterday was rainy, and it looks like all next week is going to be cloudy/rainy (maybe not a constant downpour, but at least daily scattered thunderstorms.)

    My hive is about two months old and is doing alright. It's made up of a deep with all of its frames filled and they've just started (in the past few weeks) filling up a medium foundationless super I added.

    My question is, are there things I should do to help them get through this rainy patch? Should I feed? Should the hive be sheltered somehow to help keep rain out? (I have it tilted slightly forward to prevent puddles inside, but I've seen images of hives with sheets of plywood on top of them to give the bees a bit more shelter than what the hive design already has -- should I look into something like this?)

    Also, this was going to be the week I did my inspection. I was eager to get it done, because the other day I observed a bee carry out a larvae that looked like it could be from a SHB or a wax moth, so I wanted to make sure everything was Ok. I'm having all sorts of paranoid visions of pests in my hive, but on the other hand I know that a lot of hives are expected to have a "manageable" level of pests in them and seeing a bee carry away a larvae might even be a good thing because it showed that the bees are keeping up with the housecleaning.

    Anyway, so I guess I really have two questions. One is, should I feed or otherwise do something to help my bees deal with the rainstorm? Two is, is it better to inspect in the rain or on a very cloudy/bad day, or would it be better to wait another week until the weather clears up? (My last inspection was about 2.5 weeks ago.)

    Thanks for the help, guys!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Advice on helping bees weather a storm?

    If inspected during rainy weather, the brood can get wet (if raining) and that is not good. If very cloudy/between rain, everyone is home and attitudes are not as nice (think kids at a family reunion and cannot go outdoors to play so they are cranky). But I do it, they just are more grumpy.

    You can offer an internal feeder if you are worried about food, but for a few days to a week they will be ok.

    I have extra bricks that I stack on top in case of tropical storms. Not sure what I will do if a big blow comes, but I will do something.

    Look around in the search, there is alot of info about what to do for Hurricanes.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, not trying the no treatment anymore

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,925

    Default Re: Advice on helping bees weather a storm?

    Here is a similar thread started by Maeve in Hudson FL a few days ago ....
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...cal-storm-prep


    And to see how Maeve's bees are doing so far, here is the followup thread ...
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...W!!!-Near-miss!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    St Petersburg, FL, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Advice on helping bees weather a storm?

    Thanks, guys! And thanks Rader for linking me to the other threads -- I knew I couldn't be alone in this problem but couldn't quite find what I needed, but that helps!

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