Wednesday, February 9, 2011
LESSON 96: Feed Your Bees in Late Winter (www.honeybeesonline.com) 217-427-2678
Hello! We are David and Sheri Burns, beekeeper extraordinaires. Thinking about getting started in beekeeping, search no further. Wanting to become a better beekeeper and have less hives die each year, you’ve stopped at the right website! And thank you for visiting us today.
Before we get into today’s lesson, feel free to visit our main website at: www.honeybeesonline.com or give us a call at 217-427-2678.
LESSON 96: FEED YOUR BEES IN LATE WINTER
It's important for beekeepers to be well prepared to properly manage hives that have survived the winter. In our last installment we looked at how to inspect the productivity of the queen. Today we are looking at how to feed our bees in late winter just before spring. Use this acronym to help you remember how to prepare:
Stimulate For Rapid Foraging Force
Rotate Hive Bodies
Inspect The Productivity Of The Queen
Winter-Bee-Kind For Winter Feed For Bees
Click here to order your Winter-Bee-Kind today. We recommend that you place candy boards on your hive any time between Oct-March.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q: Which way does the candy face in the hive?
A: The candy faces down just above the winter cluster. Normally, this means that the Winter-Bee-Kind would be placed on the brood box that contains the cluster. For example, if you overwinter your bees in a single deep hive body, the Winter-Bee-Kind would be placed on this deep hive body with the candy facing down toward the cluster. If you are using two deep hive bodies to overwinter, then the Winter-Bee-Kind would be placed on the top deep hive body. It is best to disregard the use of an inner cover, and simply place your top cover over the Winter-Bee-Kind.
Q: What about winter moisture?
A: Moisture can develop in the winter from condensation, a contrast of the heat the bees produce in the hive and the extreme cold temperature outside the hive. Condensation accumulates on the warm side, which means moistures collects on the inner cover or top cover above the hive. This can drip down on the bees and chill them during the winter. A Winter-Bee-Kind takes the place of an inner cover and any moisture that develops from condensation aids the bees in consuming the candy.
Q: How long will a Winter-Bee-Kind last on a hive?
A: On average about 3 weeks. However, a colony that has ample stored honey may not consume the candy board as fast or not at all until they need it. A colony close to starvation may consume a Winter-Bee-Kind within a week or two.
Q: Since Winter-Bee-Kinds are placed or replaced on the hive in the winter, can I open the hive up on a cold day?
A: It is best to place the candy boards on a hive when the temperature is above freezing and try to place the candy board on and have the hive sealed back up within 1-2 minutes. It should not take over 1 minute. Do not remove any frames in cold temperatures, only place your Winter-Bee-Kind on and off quickly. If you can choose the warmest day during the winter, that would be best. Try to avoid very cold, windy or rainy days.
Q: How do I refill a candy board?
A: It is best to send back your candy board and we will refill it for $7 plus shipping. If you are a good candy maker, you can do it yourself.
Q: How do I get one with a pollen?
A: Our Winter-Bee-Kinds contain pollen as well.
Q: Can I make my own?
A: You can, but you must experiment, because you do not want the candy to be too hard or too runny. The exact mix depends on your altitude, heat source and other conditions so it will be different from one location to another.
Q: Why was some liquid sugar dripping out of my Winter-Bee-Kind when I received it?
A: It is the nature of candy boards to be a bit on the dripping side even though the top may be hard. Do not be concerned if you see liquid sugar dripping out of your boards when you receive it. It usually means it was left on end during shipment for a prolong period of time. The bees will clean everything up and enjoy this soft liquid.
Q: How much sugar is in one Winter-Bee-Kind?
A: Approximately 5 pounds
Q: When do I put a Winter-Bee-Kind on my hive?
A: Any time! Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb are good months to place on the boards.
Q How often should I check my Winter-Bee-Kind?
A: Every three weeks, take a peek.
Q: Do you make Winter-Bee-Kind for 5 frame nucs or 8 frame hives?
A: Yes, check out our website to order, but carefully read the description to make sure you are ordering the correct size and type.
Q: Can the candy break loose from the board on the hive?
A: It rarely happens, but during extreme winter weather, the candy and separate from the board while on the hive. This is not a problem. The bees will continue to consume the sugar.
Q: When I place it on the hive, do I use my inner cover. Just how does it go on?
A: Winter-Bee-Kind takes the place of your inner cover. Simply place the Winter-Bee-Kind on the top of your upper hive body or super with the candy facing down, then place your top cover on top of the Winter-Bee-Kind. Be sure to use a rock or brick to make sure the wind does not blow your top cover off. There is overwhelming enthusiasm about our Winter-Bee-Kinds. Click here to order now.
...in our next article Dead Bees In The Snow
Here’s Our FREE BEEKEEPING NEWSLETTERS & PODCASTS THAT WE PRODUCE:
STUDIO BEE LIVE BEEKEEPING PODCAST
BEEKEEPING LESSONS FOR KINDLE ON AMAZON.COM
BEE SMART NEWSLETTER
Here’s Our Contact Information
Mailing Address: Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N. 1020 E. Rd
Fairmount, IL 61841
See you next time!
David & Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms