Updated: Oct 31
Autumn is the prologue to winter, meaning your bees need special attention now more than ever. Whether you're in the temperate zones or braving Canadian-like winters, the checklist remains similar. Here are the HiveTracks Top 10 Tips for setting your bees up for a successful winter.
🍂 1. Colony Check
As the seasons change and forage is scarce, drones get the eviction notice. Make sure your hive is queen right and populated enough to brave the winter. Consider combining weak hives to take your losses in the fall rather than nursing them along.
🍂 2. Mite Watch
Conduct regular mite checks, especially in late summer/early fall. If you hit thresholds (which may differ by region), it's time to act.
🍂 3. Mite Warfare
Switch up your treatments to prevent resistance. Always perform a post-treatment check to confirm the mites are under control.
🍂 4. Hive Setup
Install entrance reducers and consider swapping to bottom boards that limit drafts. Some beekeepers even add specialized winter lids for extra insulation.
🍂 5. Feeding Frenzy
If your colony is light after the last honey harvest, feed your bees to get the appropriate winter weight for your region, likely in the 40-70 pound range.
🍂 6. Bundle Up
While optional in many areas, if you’re in colder climates, consider wrapping your hives. Ensure you have good ventilation to avoid condensation issues.
🍂 7. More on Mites
If initial mite treatments fail, consider a follow-up. Oxalic acid vaporization works well in colder temps.
🍂 8. Storage Smarts
Ensure your hives are well-fed before wrapping them up for the winter. No one likes a hungry bee come springtime. And reduce empty space in the hive by removing empty supers.
🍂 9. Indoor Option
If you opt for indoor wintering, keep conditions stable. Temperatures around 5°C/41°F and red lighting are best.
🍂 10. Chill Like a Bee
Once everything’s in place, take a leaf out of your bees' book. Relax, you've set them up for success! So there you have it! A beekeeper's fall checklist to secure a buzzing spring. Ready to take action? Happy fall beekeeping, and may your winter be as cozy as a hive! 🍂🐝
Moyen Honey Farms Ltd.