I have a question about my hive for the winter…I am in Mercer, PA and we have had some mild winters but it can get very cold here 10-20F(-12 to -6C) . how would I winterize the hive? would I take the frames off for the winter or can I leave it on?
Hopefully you have at least 2 brood boxes. Those should both stay in place over winter. If you have the Flow super on, it would be a good idea to take it off after the last harvest. You may need to feed in the Fall if the hive stores are not sufficient for the winter months. Some people advise insulating, but I would only do that if other beekeepers in your local area recommend it. That should be all that you need.
So far up here nesr Seattle/Puget Sound we have been blessed with a great nectar n pollen season. We’ve been getting just enough rain to keep some flowering of important plants n flowers for our bees .
My double deep upper Honey supers are at about 80 % capacity all hives. Knock on wood n no dreath between now n first freezes we should only feed a short time to none. That’s still couple months off yet.
I can’t believe my first season back the nectar flows have been excellent to fair. That n my early season feeding real help establish four fairly built up n strong colonies.
I’m watching mite counts carefully each month to understand this new PAIN/Problem. I believe my screened bottom boards are helpful. In mid August I plan on treating each hive with mite strips this year. I will recheck mite count in September n October to verify the ratio is extremely low or treat again with vapors as the temps will be lower than needed for the mite strips again if neccesary only.
I’m working on one each moisture “quilt” for the four colonies. That said, I think I am fairly on track barring something unforeseen.
Got to boogie here !
I know you are handy with wood, Jerry, but I just noticed that Bee Thinking are also making a moisture quilt for Langstroths now:
I don’t wrap and I’m much colder than you. I do put all the hives together up against each other for winter though.
Yes ! I saw their “Quilt” boxes… If I wasn’t so handy at the wood stuff or got too busy I might jump on the Beethinking Quilt Box. I’ve needed a three 10 frame, 1 eight frame n 1 five frame quilt boxes. So I’ve made three from pine deeps, one from cedar deep (giving me an extra cedar shallow honey super … And I bought a deep 8 frame n cut it down for a quilt for the Flow-hive n a shallow honey super for the “flow”. Just need to wack/cut down one 5 frame deep Nuc box next n finish them all for winter. . Not sure what’s going one in my Six frame Observation Hive … Bees going in/out n there isn’t any pollen or nectar in it. Just bare wired wax foundation. Maybe Swarm Scouts but who knows. Not going to get too buzzed up over it. It’s pretty late season. If they draw some comb … It’s a bonus. I’d probably combine it later with one of the older mature hives if they do set up housekeeping.