Your bees are sleeping, kind-of, and it’s still good to check in on the kids by listening from the outside during the winter months. If you’ve followed instructions, your bees are tucked away in their cluster and are keeping the queen warm. These winter bees are special as they live much longer than spring and summer bees. Keep checking for things like bee poo and use infrared cameras to take pictures of your bees (still) hard at work in the hive. Make sure pests stay away and protect your hive from the elements as much as possible.
- Observation: Check the weather, and be ready to move quickly based on any fluctuations. Do external inspections only
- It’s ok to remove your wrap and look in through the windows very, VERY briefly
- DO NOT break up the cluster inside the hive. If you ever see the cluster break apart, close up everything quickly, as you have disturbed the bees. This causes them to go on the defensive, causing cold to enter the hive, which can kill the bees
- Observation: Look for bee poo. This can indicate your bees just went on a cleansing flight. Read more about bee poo Click Here.
- Action: #SnowUsYourBees! Take pictures of your bees and share them with us on social media. Use the hashtag #SnowUsYourBees to join the fun! Winter is not a typical season that people associate with beekeeping. But, it’s important to spread awareness around the challenges of beekeeping in challenging climates. It’s one of the seasons beekeepers face the most significant losses
- Observation: If you are able, check the internal temperature of the hive. The temperature will let you know how the bees are doing. Use an infrared camera or a laser thermometer and point it at your entrance. Look for a temperature reading around 95°F, give or take a few degrees. It may give you some peace of mind
- Suggestion: If you have not had a chance to input data into the Healthy Hive Management™ Software, now is the time. Get caught up on your data management, and track interesting trends. Ask the Beepods Beekeepers any of your questions. You can reach us at [email protected]
This checklist was created for beekeepers specifically in Midwest, USA. It may need to be adjusted for other beekeepers based on weather, location and other environmental factors. This list will be updated and variations will be created over time as needed. If you would like to help with the development of these checklists, please, contact us. Always be sure to check Beepods.com for updated lists or information in the Members Resource Area.