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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How the Bees Protect Themselves in Winter

When I opened Mellona on Sunday, even though bees were flying in and out of the hive for about an hour before I opened the hive, there were no bees under the inner cover. I could hear the hum of the hive but couldn't see a single bee.

I took off the first box and there they were. Their cluster was just below the top box on the front left corner of the hive box. Interestingly this corner of the box is where I always found the queen in this hive during bee season. They clustered in their "home place" in the hive.



When I took the telescoping top off of Bermuda, I found the hole in the inner cover had been propolized to keep out the cold. Bermuda has the most stores of all my hives so I decided not to break the propolis, but to leave them alone until my next hive check in a week or so.

The only reason I have to open the hives in winter is to make sure the bees don't need feeding.

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post. I was at a poetry reading over the weekend and the poet talked about bees - he use to raise them when he was younger. I thought I might ask him about bees in winter but never got the chance to. I began wondering what bees do in the winter - wondering if there is any food I could put out for them along the lines of my hummingbird feeder...

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  2. I'm wondering if they filled in the hole isn't that where they get air? Do we need to do anything to make sure they have enough air circulation?

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  3. The hive is well ventilated. It's on top of a screened bottom board and in the South beekeepers who use them keep them on all winter. The entry to the hive is open. In addition the bees only propolized half of the opening. If you look carefully at the picture, I aimed the camera at the side that was fully propolized but the other half of the oval is open.

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  4. Your blog is so interesting. I never knew there was so much to know about bees! Thank you for sharing.

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  5. Me neither! I've been doing a lot of research into my new found interest in bees and bee keeping and I must say that Linda's blog has proved to be one of the best sources of info I've yet come across. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this!

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