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Extreme Weather Preparation


After watching bee keepers suffer devastating losses the last year in the USA I thought to post some helpful ideas to help anyone who might live in extreme weather areas. Hurricanes, earthquakes tornadoes, high winds heavy rains, flooding. etc. If you live in an area that has such challenges please share how you prepare your hives to sustain such weather. Anything that helps the bees right? http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/entnemdept/2018/09/12/apiary-hurricane-preparedness/


You bee keepers and people in the US are having everything mother nature can throw at you and it seems one thing is quickly followed by another event. My heart goes out to you.
I am often thankful that our climate here is so stable and predictable.
Regards Martha


Earthquake and floods are the worst. We anticipate high winds and rain this week. I’m tying 2 milk jugs together by a rope and full of water to hang on my flow hive roof until it passes.


Martha, with all due respect, that would not be very useful. Tie down straps are cheap, strong, easy to fit and take off.
Tie%202 Tie%20Down


What is the “take off” speed? Around 100 knots? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :rofl: :open_mouth:

I used tie-downs on our plane when we parked away from home. They were meant to be good for winds up to 70 knots, but the aircraft was over 1800kg in weight. Although it was aerodynamic in one orientation, it was not easy to flip over. I have seen planes rocking in the wind though, and given a novel “hammer finish” by a passing hail storm.

Hopefully @Martha’s hives all remain intact and healthy.


Wilfred is smiling. :wink:


Hi Peter, when you say “our climate here is so predictable & stable”. You might have spoke too soon old mate :slight_smile:

I emptied 140 mils out of the gauge earlier today in readiness for this next lot coming. Our avg. is 69mm, with rain/drizzle over 4 days in Oct. Anyway it’s good to see some farmers getting a bit.

I just don’t recall getting so many storms this time of year.


Batten down and stay safe, saw more damage from the US on the news tonight. I got hammered for 3 hours with really heavy rain this afternoon, very unseasonal to be so wet for this time of year.
We can’t just ignore climate changes. The rain here is most welcome and will help with Spring and Summer flow. The poor farmers are doing it tough buying stock food a thousand miles away and at twice the price.


I have put my foot in my mouth Jeff, 2 days last week at my apiary it reached over 30c with 32c last Monday then all this rain, that is most welcome but I wish it would ease up and go out west where they have been in drought and really needed. They have been doing it so hard.
This rain building into afternoon storms in October is so unusual, makes me wonder what the wet season will bring. :thinking:


My hive is very very heavy with honey and I’m not worried about the hive, just the roof as we won’t get hurricane winds here in Tennessee. We will get some strong storms though. I also fear over ratcheting the tie down straps and cracking my roof. I’m ready with the straps for tornado weather. Thanks @busso :smiley:


I’m still outside of dangerous storms but remnants of activity. My hives are very very heavy with honey so my only worry is the flow 1 roof. Bricks don’t work and so the milk jugs will suffice. When I winterize the hives I’ll pick up some old fashioned screen door hook and eye hardware. They worked on my second flow 1 hive very well. :smiley:


Hi Martha,

You may like these topics:

I can image milk jugs flying in a really strong wind… spilling milk everywhere :wink: I’ve seen wind blow things over a lot bigger/heavier.

My Flow Hive is tied down with 2 ropes onto pallets. (you would tie to your hive stand, etc).
My roof seems okay after being tied down quite strongly.
But, you can use some of the simple suggestions in the links above if you are handy and don’t want to put a heavy weight over the top of your roof.


:rofl:shes got a good arm


Yup I did that on hive 2 with the screen door hook and eye. Works great! Hive 1 is my only roof weakness. Thanks everyone. I have straps, bricks. Bungee cords and a multitude ways to secure the roof. Just an FYI, my milk jugs have syrup in them and thought in an unexpected moment I could make a fast dash and secure it. The jugs are heavier than bricks. I’m battened down with nylon rope snugly. Thank you!


Excellent reflexes too @Brad :grin:


I sure hope you at least get a gentle breeze to prove your preparations have worked.:grin: I would hate to think it all went to waste.
Cheers Martha


I think we need some pics of these mighty fine milk jugs. You are certainly showing how to think outside the box or in this case the hive.:laughing::laughing::wink:


I am without speech…


Too much information Martha, they must be impressive mate.:joy: Ooops :heart_eyes:


Extreme weather feeding is now the goal! So I checked on the fondant I have located in my vivaldi boards and the bees are eating the fondant, the burlap is wicking the moisture out beautifully. Now I have one hive which is eating fondant in larger and faster capacity than my other two as it’s stronger than the other two. So I have a few questions about feeding in the winter as the food I fed my bees last winter went untouched.

  1. Should I smoke the bees in the winter to get them down in the hive so I don’t get stung again from feeding fondant?
  2. How do some of you feed the fondant as I made a doughnut shape around the top cover hole and plopped it on there and now some is stuck and I can’t easily relocate it as the bees are on it.
  3. Should I have put the fondant on wax paper or some other paper medium?
  4. Can pour dry sugar on top for a quick feeding as I worry about the girls?
  5. Can I put some pollen patty next to some fondant? Should I?

To clarify, I’m only opening the top to check fondant and proof of food when the bees are outside as I don’t want to chill them.

Any hints and tips?