Thursday , February 2 2023
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Winter Preparations

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again where we need to start preparing the bees for winter.  We have been feeding the bees sugar syrup for a few weeks now but couldn’t believe it when the bees dived into the solution as I was topping up the feeders. This hunger may be due to the fact that I wasn’t using a rapid feeder in that particular hive.

Very shortly the rapid feeders will be removed and replaced with fondant which will ensure that the bees have food throughout the winter. It is expected that a colony will require between 20-30kg of food to feed the colony through the winter. Prior to feeding the fondant, it is worth hefting the hive so that you are able to identify when food stores are getting low in late winter / early spring.

In addition to feeding and if the weather allows, check that the colonies are queen-right. It is better to over winter colonies with young healthy queens as they are less likely to die or become drone layers. Mouse guards will also be fitted in October as well as keeping a watchful eye for any damage from woodpeckers.

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