Winterizing The Hive. Cariboo, BC, Canada

They’re alive!!! (Ignore the temp that is displayed)

It never got above 20 degrees today and yet when I went down to take this picture, one bee came out and flew away. Maybe a clearing flight but she didn’t come back that I saw. Also a small pile of dead bees at the entrence that I assume they cleared the hive of.


Has anyone had good success using candy boards to help feed your bees through winter? Dispite feeding through the Fall, each hive only had one 8 frame deep full of honey. One or 2 wasn’t quite full.

One commercial guy I talked to the other day lives by them.

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Yes, I have been feeding candy block, with brood building mixed in. as well as some essential oils. I will see if I can locate the recipe tonight and sind it to you if you want it. This is a recipe that an old time beekeeper for South Carolina used that her than 50 years ago.


Yes, that would be helpful @Martydallas. Thanks.

I thought I had put some essential oils in this, MMMM I guess I forgot. He does talk teach class that I went to. it is about a 5 hour drive for me but well with ever min. he teaches other class about the use of essential oils to keep mite and SHB out of your hive. IT REALLY DOES WORK :blush:

a class I took from Ken Davis.

Looking back at my notes, it looks like I additionally added some essential oils that are a basically in honeybee healthy. Little bit of Wintergreen and spearmint.

Taking a little bit of what I would normally feed the bees for spring and fall with essential oils is what I would mix in this as well. I will look for those videos from Ken as well.

With essential oils remember less is more

more of the same just a few years back


here is what I feed my bee’s in addition to the candy blocks. I use a frame feeder as well as a porch feeder depending on the weather.


I cannot for the life of me understand why this chap is pouring pollen into sugar at 170˚.
The value of the pollen to the bees lies in the protein content which is what bees use to feed brood.He has just completely denatured it!
Then he goes on to boil the stuff up to 240˚ creating dangerous levels of HMF which is toxic to bees. You can see how caramelised the end product is by the colour of it.
Later he goes on to say he could, of course, have just mixed dry sugar with dry pollen and just given that to the bees and that he might just try that…which is the only sensible thing he said
My advice, for what it’s worth is that if you want to give pollen to your bees make sure first that it’s their own or that it has been irradiated and then don’t mess about with it.

I wouldn’t feed my bees that.


I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in my Bees using this. I’ve seen the write-ups from a bee researcher in the Carolina’s here in the United States where this is been proven beneficial.

I don’t believe my hive at this point has at all lessened in size.

Being a new beekeeper, yes I’m very naïve and probably not all that knowledgeable. But I’m willing to learn and read and experiment a little.

This recipe is better than 80 years old, yes it’s been tweaked over the years but the basic recipe has been around quite some time.


It was only my opinion and I intended absolutely no disrespect to you at all. My only point really is that it seemed a darn shameful waste of good pollen
I’m happy your bees are thriving on it

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It is in the 50’s here in south central Pennsylvania for a few days so I put out some sugar syrup. Any reason this is harmful?

Also, i saw a lot of water on the pull out bottom board. We just had a lot of rain. I am concern water is getting in the hives but I don’t want to open it since that seems to mess with the cluster. Could it just have been from running in the entrance? Wet hives I know are not good.


If it is below 50F, they won’t use it. Even if the day gets over 50F, if it drops at night, they won’t take it and it may not warm up enough during the day for them to use it either. No harm, just might not help either. Solid white granulated sugar on a sheet of newspaper, moistened with a little water so that it clumps, might be a better method.

Condensation would be my top concern. Rain leakage is possible, but is less likely unless you see signs of significant water on the inside of the roof, or stains on top of the inner cover. Do you have a moisture quilt on the hive? Is the hive insulated with anything?

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Only insulation is a piece of foam on the roof to help keep condensation off the inside.

I took a peak at some hive bottom boards and the 2 with solid bottoms were dry. The 2 screened bottoms were the ones that had water laying on the pull out board. The 2 screened bottom hives also slope back some and I am thinking rain went between the two deeps as it ran down the front of the hive. I put some duct tape all the way around to keep that from happening and tried to level the one that was sloped back the worse.

I put candy boards on all the hives last week and I peaked at one today and was surprised how much they have already eaten. Do bees move food around the hive during the winter or are they consuming it this fast? They have eaten about 20% of it already in about a week. They are 1-2 inches of candy. From what I can tell, they are all clustering right on the top against the candy boards.


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So it sounds like the back slope is the reason, as you suspected.

Both, but is very good that the cluster is near the food. They should be good as long as the cluster maintains a good size.


Somehow I missed your question @Cowgirl

I am near Chambersburg. Just west of Gettysburg.

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How well did this work for you? Did it overheat the hive? I live in an area where I reach temperatures of -40F for weeks.

I built my own boards. Youtube has lots of videos it was super easy.

Finally got around to wintering my hives last weekend; just in time as it will be -12C in a couple nights, with highs of -5C.

I followed the prevailing wisdom of the locals in this area (NW of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) and pushed 2 double deep hives together and used foam all around, but left a fully open bottom entrance (with wire mouse guard) and small top entrance. The belief is this allows for a small airflow to carry out condensation. I used 1" foam on the bottom and sides, plus 2" on top inside a raised cover that leaves a small gap for feeding sugar patties, then a double wide telescoping cover over all to keep out any leaks.

On my long hive, it is constructed from full 2" pine, so I simply added a piece of insulation on either side of the hive, and a 5" thick box of shavings on top to slow the air movement and prevent condensation. The lid of the hive is already insulated, but has large screened ventilation holes at either end.

Fingers crossed, now we wait and build more equipment for 5 months!


Good job there. The only thing I would do if they were mine is close the top entrance. Unless of course you expect snow to cover the bottom one

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Do I ever, we usually get at least a few snowfalls of 20 to 30cm in a 24hour period each winter. Here is what they looked like last winter before the bees were in:


I split a hive in early May and put a new queen in the split colony. They have been producing brood, but still have 6 empty frames. Winter in northern Arkansas usually doesn’t get cold until mid November. I’m wondering if the colony will be large enough to survive by that time.