Episode-150- How To Do A Winter Check Of Bee Hive-B 1-19-13

This is an inspection of Honey Bee hive B conducted on January 19, 2013. The purpose of this brief inspection was to take advantage of the warm 49 degree weather and check the stores of the honey bee food supplies. Since the bees were active and the weather sunny I was able to get down to the first medium and add a patty of fondant on the top bars. I also dusted the three mediums with powdered sugar to ensure that any Varroa mites have a difficult winter. Small hive beetles were kept in check with the beetle blasters I have in place and only one needed a little extra vegetable oil.

The temperature during the following week dropped down to the teens and having this check helped to reassure me that the bees were prepared. At the end of the inspection I reattached the roofing paper which was one big piece folded in half. I then greased up the bottom again and to date no noticeable mite drops have been observed. The girls just got a chance to snuggle up to each other and have a sugar party.

This hive is no longer in the gazebo nor will I keep hives in there in the future. Maybe if another hurricane comes storming through I might consider a temporary move but I wouldn’t move them if there was a tornado coming so we’ll see. The big reason for the move was to keep them more in the sun which helps to control the small hive beetle. Additionally, I don’t like the idea of conducting inspections in the gazebo and risking a fire with smoker. On the downside my girls are now out in the wet elements but that’s what bees do in nature. they’re dry and they’re keeping each other warm. The move itself is something to share in an upcoming post.

I’ll be going in again when the weather permits to inspect how the colony is gearing up for spring. I plan on more sugar dusting, new grease patties and possibly some fondant or plain sugar on the bars.

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