I got some advice in a german beekeeping forum to spray or sprinkle water on the frames during this bad weather period, so the girls won’t be forced to fly out for water in cold, windy, snowy conditions (like they do right now). Has anyone ever done that? I’m scared to open the hive in this cold and I’m scared to damage the brood or - even worse - the queen. But obviously they urgently need water… On one hive I put a feeding box on top, but unfortunately it’s untight and the water or sugar syrup dripped out into the hive Now I’m even more worried…
They will be perfectly OK without water so don’t worry. They won’t take cold liquids when it’s cold. They manage perfectly in winter time after all. The bees respond to environmental conditions. Just be sure they have enough sugar/honey stores.
As Dee pointed out … Just keep them in Sugar water for moisture n energy thus the Girls n their Magesty should be perfectly okay. Our Springs near Seattle are cool n wet. Last thing I’m going to do is open the hive n sprinkle them. Mine are doing grandly without that very questionable procedure !
We had a very mild start this spring and they have lots of brood. I was just concerned because these days the weather changes like every 5 minutes from sun to snow. They are going out in the sun, then suddenly the wind and snow hits in. So you think that’s not a problem? I’m worried that too many bees will be lost…? I only fed one hive, the other one had plenty stores, but they are obviously very thirsty. I put an extra water bowl with pieces of wood inside directly next to the hive. I hope this nasty weather will have an end towards the weekend, as is prognosed. I’d like to add the honey super on friday after a short check… And next thing would be multiplication of colonies, not sure about which method to use though…
No. Never. In cold weather there is plenty of condensation inside. Bees have been managing their own water for a few million years now… I’d let them.
Ok, thanks. I won’t do it with the first hive.
The second one had to be transferred to new boxes today. The top feeder was leaky and made a terrible mess inside the hive… The wood of the boxes soaked up the moisture and got deformed in such a way that a whole short side and half of a long side was OPEN! Upper und lower box weren’t aligned anymore and bees kept leaving the hive through the new entrance. Not good, so I decided to exchange the boxes inspite of the unsteady weather. Everything went fine, I saw eggs, brood of all ages on 9 frames (including drone frame) and I saw the beautiful First Lady. All frames nicely covered with bees. Some drones wandering the hive. No new frames drawn out yet. No swarm cells, one empty play cup. On the bottom were several wax moth larvae (now turtle food ^^) and two dead bee larvae, obviously cleaned out by the nurse bees after being damaged by moth grubs. No mites on the oil board.
One frame (top bar) was stained with syrup from the leaky feeder. I hope that doesn’t matter too much…
All in all the colony seemed well, had a whole frame filled with food/honey. When the weather turns better towards the end of the week, I’ll put up the honey supers to both hives.
This is probably an example of someone who learned a practice from a mentor who did this and it didn’t kill his bees so he thought it must have helped them and then passed it along to the next generation. It may stem from the idea that you should spray a package of bees or place droplets of water on a caged queen so she and her attendants have some water to drink. This was recommended just last week at our beekeepers association meeting. It then must have been scaled up because if it is good for a queen or a package it must be good for a colony as well right?
We have that here as well - Spring started off early and it snowed (wet and briefly) again today. This weather is driving me up the wall -
Let Germany have the bad weather now, that is ok. Just prey for a nice summer because I will be there then with my family enjoying a hot summer. As winter approaches, here Down Under we are still getting up to 28 degrees and it’s too late (cold) to start a new hive so I must wait until Sept. I have the pleasure of not ever needing to worry about snow and the effects that it has on bees.
You have to love Global Warming when you are a recipient of such beautiful warm weather at winter time, not so good in summer though.