Winter is here!

Good morning, so last night it dropped down in the high 20’s.
Questions I have going into winter:
Do I need to vent if so what is recommended?
What’s the best top feeder for freezing weathers?

I just order this


I just reduce the entrance a bit in winter - maybe to about 2 to 3 inches. No need to vent anything else, or to provide an upper entrance, unless the landing board is likely to get covered by snow for days. Bees do still fly in winter for short cleansing flights, and they won’t be happy if they can’t get out to take care of “business” :wink:

For winter feeding I would suggest candy boards, fondant or even just pure white granulated sugar. You can search the forum for winter feeding using the magnifying glass tool at the upper right, if you want more information.

Thanks @Dawn_SD I appreciate the info, so is the hive wrap two much or is it smart to have?

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A wrap is never excessive. I would probably make my own from 2" thick roofing insulation foam board. You can buy it in Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Cut it to size, then hold it together with duct tape around the hive. You solution is more elegant, and I don’t think it is too much.



Insulation is key for getting your bees through winter. Don’t forget to also insulate under the lid or on top, or you’ll create a condensation issue inside that could saturate and kill your colony.

I’ve used those same wraps (and other kinds) for the past 6 years with good results. As you’ll read in the instructions for the Bee Cozies, they’re meant to be used with a top entrance (in addition to bottom).

I do advise keeping an eye out for ants that love to set up under the wrap near the top so they can get at the food stores and stay comfy all winter, and be ready to raise their own brood in very early spring :unamused:

To make early inspections for swarm prevention easier I’ve also modified mine by cutting them down the seam and sealing the cut with tape. They then have to be bungeed around the hives, but I found it very difficult and disruptive to pull them off and put them back on the way they’re made as a sleeve. For that reason plus their attractiveness to ants, instead of buying more of these for additional hives I use insulation in the manner that Dawn described.