Winter is knocking at the door here in Middle Tennessee, and in your neck of the woods it may already be in the next few days. This past week has been dedicated to winterizing the hives (you can read the post about Winterizing Bee Hives). For the honey bees, the cooler temperatures mean clustering up to keep the queen and brood warm as well as slowing down activity for the winter…they cannot let the temperature inside the cluster fall below 64 degrees or they will go hyperthermic and perish. The bees will go into a semi- hibernation state, conserving energy, and eat through their honey stores slowly. During the winter we make regular walks to all of the hives on the property are to observe the bee hives and watch for normal bee activity, such as bees making cleansing flights. Sometimes, we will put our ear up to the back of the hive to listen the cluster buzzing…this just reassures us that the bees are still alive and doing well.
Winter is also a great time for us as beekeepers and future beekeepers to take inventory and start planning for next spring. It is also a great time to read a book, watch videos, attend bee clubs, and take online courses in preparation for the next bee season.
We have a few options to help you out. Check out the Natural Beekeeping on the School of Traditional Skills. Learn about beekeeping from the comfort of your warm home. Sign up for our Mailing List to receive a monthly newsletter, and announcements and updates. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily tips, tricks, and encouragement.
This article was first published as the November 2023 Newsletter.