Learn about beekeeping in the winter with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
While most bee activity goes on during the warmer months, your hive will keep buzzing through the winter. There are even a few winter beekeeping tasks to follow throughout the cold months. With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can learn about beekeeping in the winter.
What Happens in the Hive?
Once the temperatures drop into the 50s, the bees form a cluster in the center of the hive. This cluster helps keep the bees warm. Their main job in the winter is to stay warm and protect the queen from the cold. Bees will shiver and beat their wings to be in constant motion, continuously using energy to keep the inside of the hive warm. The inside of the cluster can reach up to 92° F, even when temps are cold outside.
Winter Beekeeping Checklist
There isn’t a whole lot to do in the winter when it comes to beekeeping. Essentially, your bees are eating and staying warm. Below are some beekeeping tasks and activities to do while you wait for the arrival of warmer, spring days.
Check Food Sources – Bees will eat their winter stores of honey, consuming between 50 to 60 pounds of honey throughout the winter months. There should be sealed honey in the top frames of your hive, even late in winter. If your bees didn’t store up enough honey for the winter, you’ll need to feed them using a candy board. Continue feeding them until it’s warm enough for your bees to begin collecting pollen and nectar again.
Try Some Honey Recipes – Obviously one of the best parts of beekeeping is the honey. Cold, winter nights are the perfect time to try out some new honey recipes. From honey muffins to honey garlic chicken, your kitchen can be filled with the sweet scent of homegrown honey.
Make Beeswax Crafts – Another way to pass the time? Beeswax crafts. You can make candles, lip balm and more all with beeswax collected from your hive. Plus, beeswax products make the perfect gift.
Read About Beekeeping – There’s always more to learn about beekeeping. Pick up a new beekeeping book or visit our Beekeeping blog to learn about a variety of topics such as cleaning and rendering beeswax, beehive robbing and requeening your hive.
Stock Up on Beekeeping Supplies – Winter is a great time to get out of the house and stock up on more beekeeping supplies, such as honey jars and beekeeping clothing. It’s also a good time to make any repairs to your current equipment, and even start mapping out your dream apiary.