Tag Archives: wintering bees

Winter’s coming – are you insulated?

When I kept bees in Florida, I didn’t wrap my hives for winter. In Pennsylvania, where I grew up, we sometimes wrapped hives with thin black building paper. That was supposed to keep wind out of the cracks and heat … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Hives and Combs, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

The reason we don’t raise April queens in Alberta

It snowed again. After weeks of sweet weather, balmy enough for T-shirts, the bees quit hauling pollen and focused on hibernation.  This is the reason so few queens are bred in Canada.  We can do it, but freaky weather gets … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Climate | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Polar Vortex Insurance: Extended to Beekeepers!

Our local Auto Club (Alberta Motor Association) is offering Polar Vortex Insurance. This is a great new feature (for members only) – if the temperature stays at -25C, or colder, for any 14 consecutive days, each paid-up member gets to … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Humour, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Our backyard bees get a make-over

First the good news:  They survived.  Then, the reality: Kinda weak. For the past few days, it’s been mild (15C, or 50F), so my 16-year-old and I did a complete backyard bees make-over. Mind you, looks aren’t everything, but this … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Causes of Winter Losses

Spring teased us today. It looked good for a few minutes. The sun was shining and we could imagine that someday it could be Cancun-warm here. But we will get another layer of snow tonight here in western Canada. Nevertheless, … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Diseases and Pests | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Solstice

My friend Nichol sent this picture of her backyard hive. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? A quintessential image of winter in Canada. Besides being a great photographer, Nichol is a woodworking artisan. She handcrafted the hive equipment in her workshop. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Beekeeping, Friends | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Why are Hives Damp in the Winter?

Last time, I wrote about my over-wintering misadventures with wet hives. In many parts of the world (I’m looking at you, England.), the biggest winterkill comes from moisture, not disease or starvation. During the winter, water may collect under the … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Beekeeping, Science, Tools and Gadgets | Tagged , , | 7 Comments