T–Resisting Temptation during the Winter Check

One of the neat things about horizontal beekeeping versus (vertical) Langstroth beekeeping is that you can be a lot more active in the winter without disturbing the cluster. I just got in a couple of my top bar hives yesterday. Working from the back of the hive I removed full honey combs and set them aside until I reached empty combs and started seeing a few bees. The goal here is to place the full honey combs in the hive, up against the back of the cluster, and push the empty comb to the back of the hive out of the way. But, here is where the temptation comes in. I really thought I should be seeing more bees than what I was,and the temptation to peek at the cluster proved too strong.  I kept going until I saw the tiny cluster with the queen. Since the temps were above 50′, they will be fine,(probably) and now I know. The queen and cluster were in the middle of 5 empty frames, and of course since it is after the winter solstice, that is where she wants to begin laying. Now they have room to lay, but honey is easily accessible, in case of a cold snap. Long hives can have this treatment as well, as long as there is a covering over the cluster so that you don’t let the heat and scent out.  Happy Beekeeping!  T