Seems weird to see a hive in a blanket. After all, we are in Georgia. But tonight the temperature is going to drop so low that with the wind, it is supposed to feel like 0 degrees. BRRRR.
I keep thinking of the child's finger game:
Here is the beehive.
Where are the bees?
Hiding away where nobody sees....
Watch and you'll see them come out of the hive.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five.
What I want when late February or early March comes around is for the bees to come out of the hive, one, two, three, four, five.
It might be purely psychological impact on me, the beekeeper, but it felt pretty good to tuck the bees in on this cold night. I went out after putting these blankets on and added a sheet fully covering each hive for another layer!
Earlier this winter, I followed the video advice of Mountain Sweet Honey and taped the box joinings so as to cut down on drafts inside the hive box. Here's their video about preparing the hives for winter.
This is a medium 8 frame hive going into winter with four boxes of honey and bees. I'm using four boxes because that is 32 frames, comparable to three medium boxes for a 10 frame hive. The inner cover has an empty box above it where I have a feeder into which I put honey in the late fall.
your post made me smile. I am a beekeeper in the south of Germany where we regularly have a lot of snow in winter. Our coldest night this winter has been - 33.5 degrees Celsius. We don't cover the bees, and we don't seal the cracks. The bees survive.
I love reading your blog posts!
Sabine from Germany
I like read your blog posts!ReplyDelete
Sabine, I laughed at myself as I did this. I have never blanketed the bees in ten years of beekeeping. Last year we were in snow with temps in the teens and I didn't cover the bees. The whole time I was doing it, I kept thinking of places like Germany and Nebraska where my friend Michael Bush lives. He has 900 hives covered in snow for a lot of the winter and there's no way he covers up the hives. I think mine will survive if they are strong against varroa and have enough food and that's really all there is to it....ReplyDelete