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Winter’s Coming

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

It’s a nice day … 51F and sun shining here in Orange County,NY ! It’s a great time to check on your bees today. Depending on where you are, you should be seeing flight going on in your apiary for cleansing, orientation and foraging. My bees are out today.

You can do a lift test from the rear of your hives to see if the hives still have weight to them. Honeybees require at least 60+ lbs of natural stores to make it through the winter including stored honey, nectar and pollen. If your hives feel very light, you need to supplement feed now ! If you had placed supplemental feed ( sugar cakes, lollipops, a candy board or winter patties, you should be checking on what remains and if you need to add more.

A quick lift of the hive cover on these nicer days is all that’s required and should tell you that. Don’t pull your hives apart frame by frame. It’s not good for the colony during this time of year that are in cluster.

A peek and adding supplement feed to you hive should take you under 20 seconds to assess and perform. You don’t want to take off the covers and leave them off for extended period of time.

Pollen feeders… hang a couple of pollen feeder stations out in your yard away from the apiary. Add dry pollen substitute to the feeders.

On gorgeous days like these the bees will forage short distances to take on whatever may be found out in nature that at this time of year is difficult to find depending on where you live and what forage you have around you. If the bees want the dry pollen sub, the foragers will take it … if not, they will leave it alone.

It’s also a good time to remove your entrance reducers and mouse guards and sweep out the bottom board of any dead bees that have accumulated. Replace the guards after cleaning them out.

Let us know if you need any assistance or need anything from us at Larry’s Backyard Bees. We are always here to help out of fellow beekeepers, especially the newbees.

I’m happy to report my bees are all doing well from what I could briefly observe and do to help them out some today, however, It’s only December 14th and winter starts next week. We still have a very, very long way to go until spring.

Don’t ignore your honeybees during this crucial time of year.

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