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Author Topic: Winter preperations?  (Read 1094 times)

Offline Ocean

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Winter preperations?
« on: August 25, 2005, 12:24:43 PM »
Hey guys, as you all know, this is my first year beekeeping, and i would like to know what should i do for winter preperations,, and when should i start?

I know i will have to start feeding the bees with sugar syrup.. when do i have to start? What is the solution?

and is there anything else?

Where can i read about it? or if you guys can explain, i would really appreciate it.


THanx alot

Offline Michael Bush

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Winter preperations?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2005, 04:19:05 PM »
>Hey guys, as you all know, this is my first year beekeeping, and i would like to know what should i do for winter preperations,, and when should i start?

As soon as the nights get cool enough for the bees to cluster (50F) I would be putting mouse gaurds on (block them with 1/4" hardware cloth) and removing queen excluders so the queen doesn't get stuck on the wrong side of the excluder.  I'd already be pulling off honey (although I haven't).

>I know i will have to start feeding the bees with sugar syrup.. when do i have to start? What is the solution?

Some people like to feed a little 1:2 (sugar:water) to stimulate some late brood rearing for young bees to get through winter.  I'd wait until the nights are getting cool for that.  I would feed 2:1 (sugar:water) to build up stores.  I wouldn't start until there isn't a fall flow anymore.  No point if there's nectar for them to gather, but when there is no more nectar (usually after a hard freeze) I'd feed them whatever they will take to top them off for winter.

>and is there anything else?

After a hard freeze is also when I'd pull all the empty boxes off.  I try to have nothing but full frames in the hives and no empty boxes.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Ocean

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Winter preperations?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2005, 12:17:09 AM »
ok so the only thing i need to buy, is the mouse guard? where would i get that?
( can i just make the entrance smaller with the entrance reducer? because mine right now is still totally open. all the way...


than take out the honey... and take off the supers that are empty..... and start feeding them with sugar syrup...

Offline Michael Bush

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Winter preperations?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2005, 10:44:38 AM »
>ok so the only thing i need to buy, is the mouse guard?

That's the only thing I would buy.  Some people wrap their hives with tar paper or the wraps the bee places sell.  I never have.

> where would i get that?

The hardware store.  :)  1/4" hardware cloth AKA #4 Hardware cloth. AKA hail screen.

>( can i just make the entrance smaller with the entrance reducer? because mine right now is still totally open. all the way...

Making it smaller is probably a good idea going into winter but it will NOT keep out the mice.  They will crawl through a 3/8" by 1" hole.  They will chew through a 1/4" by 1" hole.  They can't chew through a 1/4" by 1/4" hole in metal hardware cloth.

>than take out the honey... and take off the supers that are empty..... and start feeding them with sugar syrup...

I woulnd put the supers back on right now.  I wouldn't pull them off the hive until it starts frosting at night, then I'd pull everything that's empty off so the cluster doesn't move into an empty box and starve.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen