Against all odds the Lord blessed us with our first full frame of honey. Many experienced beekeepers said we wouldn't get any the first year but even in a drought year, the Lord has provided. Now, what do I need to do to prep for winter?
Our first frame ever
Wow, that is a nice looking frame of honey you got there! What a blessing!
There must not be many bee keepers that post on Dave's Garden since you didn't get replies.
I have been attending the local bee club meetings for a year now and reading books on bee keeping but I'm not educated enough about the subject to give advice. I know the guys at the bee club here had several things they did to prepare their hives for winter -the main one being make sure the bees have enough honey stored to make it through the winter or you will need to buy a feeder to attach to the hive. They also said the fall is a good time to check for pests and diseases and take the appropriate measures.
I have two top bar hives that I'm getting ready (they are new so the outside needed painting) for spring. I am wondering if anyone has put down layers of old carpet under their hives so the grass doesn't grow and need to be mowed. What do you have under your hives, yardner? Are they close to the ground or do you have then up on stands?
You can use old carpeting to reduce the grass right in front of the hives.
We always kept them on stands, skunks are really bad predators of bees around here.
Winter prep in my (mild) zone is probably not as intense as in colder zones. Mostly we were setting up the hives to be moved into the almonds in February, so we took off what honey we could while still leaving plenty for the bees, and reduced all the hives to 2 stories.
Just about the time all the pests started I quit beekeeping, so am not up to date on the current treatments or preventatives for the various mites or other problems.
So Diana, I'm speculating from what you said that the bees are only disturbed by mowing near the entrance to their hive? We have a loud lawn mower, would that matter? (Just trying to keep DH from getting stung.) We have skunks around here too. Any reccomendation on how high off the ground the hives should be?
Dwight, are you all having drought out there? I bought one of those feeders when we went to the Dadant store last week in case we don't get enough rain (plant growth for flowers/nectar/pollen) this coming spring. Here's hoping everybody gets all the rain they need this coming new year!
This message was edited Dec 30, 2012 11:30 PM
The rain here is average. But bees don't fly when the temp is below 60.
They will come down and feed on the sugar water, which is not the best for them but keeps the alive through the winter.
Glad to hear you all are getting enough rain! The beeks around here feed sugar water all winter also.
Lost my other hive this week so I'm out of bee keeping.