Winter Beehive Insulation & Winter Bee Feeds
Beehive Insulation- We offer several products to increase your colony's chances of surviving Winter with our Winter beehive insulation and other products to help honey bees survive cold Winters.
Winter Honey Bee Supplements- Ensuring that a colony has enough food is a critical aspect of overwintering. The food can consist of gathered honey from the summer or winter patties, candy, or similar supplies the beekeeper provides. It is advisable to have approximately 80-100lbs of resources in each hive to guarantee sufficient sustenance for the colony.
Keys to Successfully Overwintering a Beehive.
When it comes to keeping your honey bee colony alive through Winter, there is a bunch of info out there and varying opinions. This "advice" is likely all based on the type of management and most importantly, the type of hive your bees are in. But this advice is normally not explained based on the management or hive type.
So these are the three basics, that can apply to just about any hive type or management style in overwintering your honey bee hives-
Pest/ Disease Management- Keeping pests out of the hive like moths and mice, with mouse guards, and beetle traps is critical. Just as keeping disease low or out of the hive, like low mite counts, which can be done with mite-resistant bee genetics, treatments, and management styles.
Colony Food Levels- When we overwinter our bee colonies, we ensure they have 80-100 pounds of food in the hive. We do this by letting the colony keep some of their honey, as well as supplement them with syrup feed and winter patties. This is the most critical aspect of successfully overwintering the hives.
Keep the Bees Dry and Warm- Unlike other bugs, the honey bees remain active and alive all Winter. Keeping their hive at a temperature up to 97ºF. The less insulation your hive has, the harder the bees need to work to keep the hive warm, and they will go through their food resources much faster (up to 50% faster). And when warm air meets the cold exterior of the hive or cold air it condenses and this moisture can get on the bees making it impossible for them to warm the hive. So, keeping them dry with moisture boards or an insulated top or inside cover is critical.
We will note, we also recommend what research shows. If your hive is insulated there is no reason to vent the hive. The bees are great at knowing when to do it. but if your hive isn't insulated, venting the hive is important to keep moisture out, but is at the expense of removing heat as well, which the bees need.