Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Winterizing Bee Hives

It's that time of year...time to put certain parts of the farm to bed for the winter. Each autumn around this time....before the winds turn too cold, we do a final inspection of our hives and get them winterized. Yesterday I had a bit of help....my daughter. Check her out in her bee suit....
I open each hive and inspect its health and strength, remove any supers that are empty, remove the queen excluder and place a top feeder on the top beneath the inner cover. This feeder is filled with sugar syrup (that I made this morning) and will serve to feed the bees...helping to make their honey stores stretch a bit further.

I use black roofing paper as a blanket around the hives. The black helps to absorb the warmth of the winter sun and also acts as a wind break for those cold winter winds.
I also turn my entrance reducers to the smallest opening.
This year has been a learning experience for me....and one of the things I learned is that my bees did not like the supers above the queen excluders. In the two hives that I used queen excluders, there was absolutely no activity above the excluders....no comb being drawn or anything. The hives without excluders did much better....and ended up with larger honey stores.

Of course, while we were working on the hives, TomTom was busy supervising....from a safe distance!!

6 comments:

  1. I find beekeeping to be such an interesting subject. Sure wish I could convince the rest of the family to start keeping a hive. So far, no luck...

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  2. interesting..I guess the excluders are well named...glad you had some help!!!!

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  3. Oh bees! They are crazy little creatures. I hope all the hives last through the winter. The black coating is smart idea.

    -<3

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  4. Best wishes for you and your bees. I have come to the conclusion that I will stick with mammals and leave the insect world alone. I am giving all of my beekeeping supplies/equipment to a friend for her to try her hand at it. :( I think being limited with time is what was my major downfall. Sending good wishes to your bees.
    Kelly

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  5. I just found your blog and very much enjoy it. It has me wishing for more than the two acres we have! I did purchase a hive to start beekeeping next year, and will be purchasing one more before I begin. Looking forward to it. Reading this is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Pretty interesting blog you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

    Sincerely yours

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