On the last warm days

Happy Beeks!
I am sure you have all seen that your bees will fly if it is over 45 degrees. That is pretty amazing, since they can’t even move out of the cluster unless it is at least 40 degrees. These bee biology facts help us understand what we can do for our bees, and when. Since we know they can’t move at all unless it is at least 40′, we know that they need it to warm up a bit before they can move to full honey combs. For this reason, I usually wrap my hives with tar paper during (actual) winters. It looks like this might be one. These days that have warm temps are the perfect time to do that. I just staple the tar paper right to the hive body; langstroth, top bar, and long hive alike, making sure to leave the ventilation holes open. We want to do this on a nice day, so that if our disturbance makes the bees leave the cluster, they’ll be able to get back up before being paralyzed by the cold. Same thing with adding sugar patties. The one in the photo has pollen patty, too. Pollen is better kept off until later. Bee candy or sugar on newspaper is perfect for right now. You can see that there is no hardware cloth or support under my bee candy. I mixed it fairly dry, and let it set in my sunny window for a few days until it was self-supporting. I used 10 lbs of sugar to 3/4 cup of water, and used the bread hooks of my stand mixer to help. There is a nice article at https://honeybeesuite.com/no-cook-candy-board-recipe-for-feeding-winter-bees/ for those of you who want to read more. Make good use of these nice days! T

 

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