B.C. Bee Supply
Over Wintering a Beehive
In this configuration we have a single brood box with mouse guard,
the inner cover is installed with the upper entrance facing down ,
and a hive top feeder surrounded by an empty medium honey super.
( This is for demonstration purposes only. )
Normally , hobby beekeepers will use 2 brood boxes for over-wintering ,
so that there is lot's of honey stores for the colony to feed on during
the cold Winter months. We use a hive top feeder as a back up in case
the hive runs out of their own food , not as a replacement .
We leave our hive top feeders on all Winter. The empty honey super provides
extra room to put a piece of styrofoam insulation on top of the feeder.The
upper entrance vents any extra moisture that might build up in the hive. The
bees will regulate the size of the upper entrance with propolis to suit their
needs. We put an oversized piece of plywood on top to keep the rain/snow out.
A hive top feeder can be as simple as an upside down pail or jar with tiny
holes poked in the lid , sitting over the feeder hole in the inner cover.
We use one of our plastic HIVE TOP FEEDERS
sitting over the feeder hole in
the inner cover. In the early Fall we feed with 1/1 syrup , as the weather
cools off we feed with 2/1 syrup , and when Winter sets in with cold
conditions we remove the inner cone and feed with dry sugar. In the depths
of Winter we don't want to introduce any extra moisture into the hive by
feeding with syrup.
As Winter draws to an end and the weather begins to warm up , we switch
back to 2/1 syrup. When Spring finally does arrive and the weather warms up
before the first flowers come out , we switch to 1/1 syrup. This simulates
a honey flow and stimulates the queen to lay .
You can see how the bees have closed down the upper entrance with propolis.
Bees are like beavers - little engineers that regulate the size of the upper
entrance to control the venting of the upper entrance and preventing the
" chimney effect " .
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