Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Winter Preparation

Beekeepers care about their honeybees and want them to survive through winter to spring. Ways to achieve this vary by the region the beekeeper calls home. In the northern United States, we have harsh winters to deal with. It is our job to give them the best chances of making through our frigid temperatures. Leave enough honey for the bees to consume throughout the cold season. This is where they will get their energy to shake their flight muscles to maintain proper thermoregulation, or generate heat. The bees will form a cluster and move upward through their honey stores. If possible, provide the hives with a good windbreak.

Moisture levels can also be an issue. Some beekeepers will put moisture board in place of their inner cover. The board will absorb moisture and any air flow over the board will wick moisture from the hive. Other may also choose to wrap or insulate their hives. It is also important to make sure the hives are pest and disease free going into winter.

In the southern United States, many of these same concepts still apply. However, there is much less worry about below-freezing temperatures and wrapping hives. Ensuring that hives are healthy and have a good supply of honey are key to the survival of the hives.

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