Winter Beekeeping Inspection

Part of the Beekeeping For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The beekeeping cycle slows in the winter. After you’ve prepared your bee colony for the cold weather in your area, do these things in your winter beehive inspection:

  • Smoke the hive at the entrance and under the cover as usual.

  • Open the hive for inspection.

  • Confirm that you have a queen. Either find her, or look for eggs. If you are 100% certain you have no queen, consider ordering a new queen from your bee supplier.

  • Does the colony have enough honey for its use during the winter? Bees in cold northern states need eight to ten frames of capped honey (less for bees in warm southern states).

  • Feed bees syrup and medicate your colony with Fumigilin (to prevent Nosema).

  • Place a sugar-and-grease patty on the top bars of the upper deep.

  • Provide adequate ventilation.

  • Install a metal mouse guard at the hive’s entrance.

  • Wrap hive in black tarpaper (if you are a cold climate).

  • Clean, repair and store surplus equipment.

  • Fumigate stored honey supers with paradichlorobenzene (PDB) crystals or place supers in deep freeze to kill wax moths.

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