Honeybees are natural survivors. Giving them the little extra push they need to make it through the winter is not nearly as difficult as one might think. But it does require a careful commitment to a few time-honored strategies. These tips on preparing your beehive for winter will give you a few ways to approach the difficult problem of keeping your honeybees alive even during brutal weather. Absorb some of these tactics so that you know how to give your honeybees the best chance.
Feed Them Syrup in the Fall
After you remove the honey supers—usually around late August—you can feed your honeybees a two-to-one mixture of sugar and water. Though it may feel more fulfilling as a beekeeper to see your honeybees feed themselves, you should give them a hand if want to enjoy their honey come spring.
Protect Against Marauders
During early fall, you must be aware of robbing from neighboring wasps. To combat marauders, make the hive entrance as small as possible.
Leave the Honey
Next on our list of tips on preparing your beehive for winter, it’s best to err on the side of leaving too much honey as opposed to too little. During the winter, honeybees can eat a tremendous amount of the stuff: up to 60 to 90 pounds each winter!
Wrap the Hive
You can keep your hive insulated and warm during the winter months by wrapping the box in one-inch rigid foam sheeting. By wrapping the hive, you offer the honeybees and yourself several advantages, including:
- The honeybees won’t eat as much honey if they don’t need to use up energy staying warm.
- Under a covering, the warmed ceilings and walls of the hive won’t produce condensation, so the honeybees will remain drier.
- Warm clusters have more mobility, so they can move to the honey more easily.
It’s best to wrap your hive in mid-October, when you know for certain there will be no more warm days. Honeybees can live through short bursts of cold weather, so don’t feel rushed to get this job done too quickly.
Beekeeping is a spectacular hobby or job for anyone who likes to spend time outside, even if they must contend with some difficult elements. If you want to look into beekeeping more, explore the honeybee nucs for sale at The B Farm.