Hey this is my first year, when do I winterize the hive? The weather is still good. I have the cover see in the picture below. I have yet to put it on, because the hive is still busy. I mean they have not filed all the frames, but I feed them regularly, as I am trying to get them ready for the winter. I started late with my bees, end of May. I was going to shrink the entrance, but think it is to early as they are bearding the front of the hive. See the pictures. Also I have a small hole in between the two brood boxes. Should I go ahead and seal it now?
A bit late to the party but in the first year, build the bees up to 2-3 deep boxes. In mid-July, decide on a mite strategy. If you plan on treating for Varroa, do it in mid-late July.
Keep an eye out for robbing during this time as we usually come in to some type of dearth. I see you have a moving/robbing screen so that is good.
As for holes between the brood boxes, leave the bees do the sealing.
In Autumn, make sure to have mouse/rodent protection. Rodent’s will make a mess in there. Also you can pick up a moisture/insulation board from Brushy Mountain or Mann Lake and place it OVER the inner cover and under the outer cover to wick moisture and provide top insulation. It’s not a bad idea to wrap the hive in #30 or #15 black felt paper.
Starting now, Open up the hive on a warm day just to see where the bees are. If they are at the top, they probably could use some food. Don’t pull frames, just look. They’re going to start rearing brood in a couple weeks (Groundhog’s Day) and will start consuming food. Add some bakers fondant or some Mann Lake winter patties.
Watch them on warm days and when you see fresh pollen coming in, they’re brooding up. There’s a lot of stuff blooming that we just don’t realize in February plus when the days warm, the Maple trees start flowing sap from broken branches and the bees will be all over it. From there it’s “game on”.
With my 3 deep hives, I’d better super them up in late March because they are sooo far ahead of the smaller hives.
Have we lost our ability to post videos?
Never had that. You can always post YouTube video links though, so I just upload there, then paste the link here.
Oh ok. I’m suffering from 54’ism lol
That and the doc has me jacked up on all kinds of meds for my “man cold”.