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17525RE: Re: [Beekeeping] When do I close hive for winter?

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  • tomzboxathotmaildotcom
    Oct 13, 2013
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      I'm in the Willamette Valley too, tyvm. Mike has given you good advice. By now your bees have made their "plan" for winter and you don't want to rearrange anything. Just check your hive's stability, rain-tight roof and keep it dry as you can. Make sure your mouse defenses are in place.

      I've over-wintered colonies here for the past 5 years, and I don't do much "closing up" aside from that. My bees like a bit of extra space at their entrance in winter, but they don't like any additional openings/entrances to cause a draft effect. Your hive will allow for enough other ventilation, moisture absorption, etc. 

      I usually put a backup feeder of syrup at the hive starting with the onset of the freezes; and I then get all the after-Christmas candy canes on clearance sale at the grocery stores and toss 'em on the screen floor board until spring.  They've been coming though winter pretty strongly each year, and I'm right up at the foot of the Cascades.

      Good luck!

      Tom Warren

      Pleasant Hill, Oregon

      ---In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, <beekeeping@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      >>>  They don't have all the frames drawn in either of their 2 boxes. Should I consolidate the drawn frames into one box?

      Bees will configure their hive in the best possible way for them to survive the winter.  Generally speaking this is in a chimney like arrangement.  The honey is stored in frames vertically so that the winter cluster can move vertically to reach new stores as they need them.  Typically, colonies need anywhere from 35 to 90 pounds or more of honey, depending on winter severity, to survive until the spring flow starts.  If you're not sure and they are still taking sugar syrup, feed them as much 2:1, 2 parts sugar to 1 part water, as they will take until they stop taking it.   Whatever you do, at this time of the year, don't change the arrangement the bees have made in their honey storage.  They know better than we do how they want it for the winter.  Good luck with your overwintering.
      Mike in LA

      On Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:37 PM, "ladybugblue6-flylady@..." <ladybugblue6-flylady@...> wrote:
      I'm in Oregon, Willamette valley. I doesn't get very cold, but does freeze at night starting soonish. They still have lots of pollen on their legs when the return.

      When do I close up my hive?

      I'm planning to give them a candy board for the winter. They're still small and it's their first year. I think I'm supposed to stop giving syrup when I close them up. Is that right?

      They don't have all the frames drawn in either of their 2 boxes. Should I consolidate the drawn frames into one box?


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