It’s hard to bee-lieve winter is just a couple of months away. You’ve taken good care of your bees all year, and now it’s time to help them stay warm and safe through the cold season ahead.
You might wonder how you can help your bees maintain a comfortable hive, or what to do to keep small critters at bay. We’ve got you covered! Today, I’m sharing how the Beepods System Winterizing Kit takes care of all your winter beekeeping worries.
Do harsh winter temperatures make you want to snuggle up inside? The same goes for your bees. Honey bees can’t forage when it’s cold. In fact, if a bee’s body temperature falls to 45 degrees or lower, they’ll freeze to death. So, except for the occasional trip out of the hive on warmer days, bees stay inside during the winter.
Honey bee colonies work as a community to keep the inside of their hives nice and toasty when it’s cold. They cluster together, vibrating their abdomens or moving their flight muscles (or wing muscles) to generate heat. If enough bees cluster together and have enough honey to eat, they can keep themselves warm enough to survive.
As a beekeeper, you can help your bees’ hive-heating efforts and avoid losing your colonies to the cold. Our Winterizing Kit includes a BeeRito Wrap, which acts as a nice winter coat for your top bar hive. The BeeRito Wrap protects your hive from bitter, harsh winds. It also insulates the hive, so the heat your bees are generating stays inside. The BeeRito Wrap is easy to install, and your bees will thank you for their added protection from winter chills.
We’re not saying we don’t want little critters to find cozy homes where they can stay well-fed this winter. But that home shouldn’t be your beehive! Mice and other small animals might be drawn to the heat and sweet smells your hive offers in the winter. Can you blame them? When mice discover the goldmine that is a beehive, they love to make themselves comfortable and eat up all the delicious pollen, comb, and honey. Imagine going out to check on your hive, only to find mice have invaded and destroyed it.
Don’t let your hive become this winter’s AirBnB for mice. Our Winterizing Kit comes with two efficient tools to keep them out of your hive. First, you can staple Mouse Guards, or hardware cloth with wire mesh, inside the hive at entrance points. The mesh openings are big enough for bees to get in and out as they please, but are too small for furry mice bodies to maneuver through. Next, line the lid of your Beepod with Mouse Mesh (two strips of steel wool). Mice will chew just about anything, but not steel! This keeps them from accessing the hive. Not only will your bees be safe from furry, unwanted roommates, but you’ll be saved from the headache of dealing with the aftermath.
The only thing worse than being cold is being cold and damp! Bees are guilty of creating unwanted moisture in their hives. As they eat and metabolize their honey, they produce water vapor that collects on hive lids and causes condensation. Combine the heat your bees are generating with a moist environment, and you’re pretty much asking for fungus, mold, and other organisms to develop. Managing the removal and cleaning of those growths, and the potential impact on your bees, is something every beekeeper should try to avoid.
The Insulating Desiccant that comes with our Winterizing Kit wicks away moisture to provide a dry and comfy hive. Think of it as a nice heating blanket for your bees, and a safeguard for you against moisture-driven nuisances in the hive. The Desiccant, a nylon pillow filled with wood shavings, goes between the lid and top bars in your hive. It absorbs moisture from their air in the hive and prevents water droplets from falling onto bars and comb. The Desiccant also prevents cold air from entering the hive, while still allowing for ventilation.
Protecting your bees and their hive during cold months is an important job for beekeepers. Using the Beepods System Winterizing Kit, you can rest assured the bees in your top bar hive will be buzzing with warmth and comfort all winter long.