Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bitter Cold & Bees. . .

Spring has not completely sprung and Jack Frost is giving us all one last blow before he heads out of town.  I have received some calls with concerns regarding the bees making it through this cold snap. If your hive is properly insulated with follower boards on the inside and hard foam or bubble wrap foam on the outside, your bees should be fine.  Other suggestions are that if you put a blanket over the hive, don't cover the entrances and don't forget to remove the blanket when it warms up during the day.  Bees generate plenty of their own heat.  Also, don't open the hive when it is less than 50* because the brood can get too cold and die off. Remember, the best time to check your hive, in my opinion, is every 10-12 days around the middle of the day.  Another reminder. . . if you are checking the weather and you see a cold snap on its way, throw a piece of pollen patty on top of the frames to give the bees some food while they cannot leave the hive.  Sometimes a cold snap can last a week or so.  A pollen patty ensures the queen will keep laying while the workers are sitting out the storm.  This year the bees have been storing a lot of sugar water so If you've been good about giving your bees sugar water, they will have plenty until our weather warms up again. 

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