Winter is coming! Although many of us are still enjoying all that Autumn has to offer, for diligent beekeepers it is a time to prepare their hives for the harsh New England winter right around the corner.
In order to improve our hives chances for survival, it is our job to ensure the bees are fed, warm and protected until Spring.
Our bees have rewarded us with their sweet honey all year long, keeping some for themselves in order to stay fed throughout the Winter. If we notice a depleted amount of honey during our Fall inspection, we will feed our hives a sugar water mixture. A rainy Fall, like the one we’ve had this year, can interfere with their winter food storage. This 2:1 sugar water mixture will ensure the hive has what it needs in order to thrive during the cold winter months.
HIVE CONFIGURATION AND INSULATION:
Reorganizing and consolidating our hives allow for an easier space to keep warm during the winter. Helping the hive conserve their energy is crucial, as any unused space robs bees of valuable heat required for winter survival. Additionally, examining the hives and reducing any ability to let excessive moisture or cold air in from cracks and holes are key.
Securing hives from both the elements and other critters can provide the bees a safe habitat through the winter months. Harsh elements and winds can be disruptive and detrimental to the health of the hives. Not to mention, bees aren’t the only ones in nature longing for a warm, safe home during the cold months. Mice and other small critters looking for a new home can wreak havoc on the hive. Installing entrance reducers and mouse guards allow for great pest prevention.
With the bees being tucked away for the winter, all we can do now is wait until we are reunited in the Spring. Preparation and diligence is a key component when caring for bees, but this hard work is well worth it.