Friday, November 12, 2010

Winterizing Hives

We've had a week of unseasonably warm temperatures.
An occasional frigid night reminds us, though,
that winter is just around the corner.
And this reminder means that time is running out for
finishing Autumn's chore list.

The last of the extra chores on Autumn's list 
was to winterize the beehives.

My daughter Jenn and I worked this week
to get all of our precious little pollinators
tucked in for the winter.

Not everyone covers their hives for the winter.
I do,
because I always have,
and for the most part
my bees seem to overwinter quite well.

I wrap each hive with a layer of tar paper
(roofing paper) to keep out the harsh winter winds.

Food is the most important component of overwintering.
If the bees have enough food,
they will have enough energy to keep warm.

I allow for a good store of honey when harvesting...
that is, I leave plenty behind for their consumption.
I augment their honey supply with hive-top feeders filled 
with sugar water.
Jenn, adding sugar water.

Before the weather gets terribly cold,
they have a source of sugar water available....
saving their precious honey for colder temperatures,
when venturing up to the sugar feeder is more dangerous.

I am happy to report that we suffered no stings this week!
All I can say is this...
If you are planning to try beekeeping,
these suits are essential!


  1. Bev,
    We are researching beekeeping to set up our own hives next year. Where do you purchase your equipment-like the suits?
    Heather in PA

  2. So cool! I love learning new things. I never knew what beekeepers did for their bees in the winter,

  3. I don't know about bee keeping, the thought of getting stung, ouch! I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.
    Pam TNwoman

  4. Heather, this one is easy.... for the suits,

    and for the rest of my supplies, I use Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. There is actually a store in Lewisburg, so not far from me. Also they have an online catalog.

  5. I love reading about bees and how you care for them. I am allergic so you would not catch me near them! You are one smart, brave woman...and so is your daughter!

  6. Wow, you all do such a great job there with your bees. I am really hoping to start with one hive next year.

  7. Neat looking suits and I'm sure they come in very handy! I'm not familiar with beekeeping and had no idea you had to prepare them for winter!

  8. Hi Bev,

    What lucky bees you have...
    such special love and care
    for their winter. ♥


  9. Oh, where have I been! I just came across your fabulous blog! I just love it! I am a lover of all things bees. I have thought for years that I would like to keep bees.

    I have been perusing your wonderful posts. So interesting and just delightful!
    I just have to follow so I can keep up with all your homestead activities!
    Welcome to my life!


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