Opening Hives in the Winter?
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Opening Hives in the Winter?

    I have learned bees cluster in the winter, can't fly below 40 degrees, and come out to defecate anytime they get a chance throughout the winter. If that logic is sound, is there any reason I cannot open a hive when it is over 40 degrees?

    The issue at hand is I have a couple hives that are light. They were not that well prepared for winter but are still alive. I have a few frozen frames of honey from dead-outs that I could thaw and provide them but I obviously do not want to cause more harm than good by disturbing their cluster. Is there some kind of minimum amount of time over 40 degrees before opening a hive? Should I just wait until I see activity at the entrance and use that as my green light? Or, is disturbing them at all a bad idea and I should just wish them the best?

    Thanks in advance.
    2nd Year Beek

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,626

    Default Re: Opening Hives in the Winter?

    If they need feed, feed them. IMO waiting is not a option.
    Put the honey frames on the outside of cluster.
    40* is not so bad, some bees will probably be poking around the entrance testing the conditions
    if not taking short fights.
    The real danger is them running out of feed, or getting caught away from the feed when the temps drop again.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Opening Hives in the Winter?

    Give them a sugar brick saves you from pulling frames.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Opening Hives in the Winter?

    As long as it's not too windy or snowing too hard you can do a quick check and add some feed. No problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psuAswYFSG4

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: Opening Hives in the Winter?

    There's a huge difference between popping the top, looking down and adding feed compared with removing frames. I will pop the top at virtually any temperature if I am concerned about the bees starving to death. I do not move or otherwise manipulate frames in winter.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Opening Hives in the Winter?

    There seems to be a degree of zealotry around not opening a hive in the winter. Like others I'll crack the crown board if I'm worried about them and take a peek between the frames, I'd not pull frames. In your position I'd maybe put fondent over the cluster rather than trying to pull frames and replace them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    allen,indiana,usa
    Posts
    519

    Default Re: Opening Hives in the Winter?

    put on sugar brick, or do a mountain camp method, don't worry about giving them a frame of honey now

Tags for this Thread

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
  •