Brrr, it’s cold outside! Bees work harder in winter to ensure their colonies survive through the cold months, and they could use your help! Throughout the year, it’s essential to help keep your hive happy and healthy. While you may want to stay huddled inside for warmth, you must continue your beekeeping priorities! Here are some actionable steps beekeepers must take this winter.
Step 1: Insulate the Hive
Wrap your hive with insulation material to keep your bees warm and cozy during winter. We recommend using materials like foam insulation boards, tar paper, or old blankets. Just ensure you don’t block your hive’s ventilation system so that the hive stays airy and dry.
Step 2: Feed Your Bees
Bees depend primarily on the honey they store during the warmer months in winter. However, sometimes they might need a little extra food. You can use a winter-bee-kind candy board, sugar candy, sugar syrup, or fondant to supplement their food stores. Remember to stick to the perfect 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio!
Step 3: Keep a Watchful Eye
Monitoring your hives regularly is crucial in winter but doing it too often could disturb them. Limit the times you visit the hive, and only increase your visits if you spot signs of disease or external pest attacks. Install mouse guards and check your hive’s cleanliness periodically.
Step 4: Prepare for Spring
Plan for the upcoming spring season as winter ends. Watch the weather and prepare to replace dead colonies with new bees and queens. Now is also the time to clean and prepare any equipment, order new supplies, and set your goals for the upcoming beekeeping season.
The Importance of Year-Round Beekeeping
Wintertime care is one aspect of keeping bees happy and healthy all year. Use a year-round beekeeping calendar to keep up with seasonal tasks and ensure your colony’s longevity. By staying on top of the changes in weather, flora, and bee behavior, you will become a more skillful and confident beekeeper.
Your buzzing pals will be ready to take on the winter months when you implement these actionable steps beekeepers must take this winter. But the beekeeping journey doesn’t conclude here—keep learning, growing, and enjoying the experience that comes with this endeavor. Your fuzzy buddies will greatly appreciate your loving care.