Left: Yellowjacket. Right: Honey Bee.
Source: University of Nevada Extension.
Fall and Winter Preparations
As fall and winter approach, it is important to make sure our bees have enough honey to make it through the winter. Our bees have filled up an entire box, or super, of honey. This year we won’t be harvesting any of liquid gold as one super is the minimum amount a colony will use during the winter.
In preparation for winter, we will start supplemental feeding so the bees aren’t only eating honey once frost sets in. We will condense our hive and get rid of empty boxes. Efficiency is important during the winter so bees shouldn’t have to travel far for food. We are also adding a wind block to our hive in the form of hay bales, to help shield some of the cold winter winds.
Thinking of Starting A Beehive?
Now is the perfect time of year to start planning a beehive. First, make sure beehives are allowed within local municipality limits. Ordinances differ between different communities and it would be a shame to find out bees are not allowed, when your package of 10,000 is due for delivery in April! During fall clean-ups, identify an area with southern exposure, away from children and other loud distractions. Create a blank canvas by clearing weeds and yard debris. We built a pillar for our beehive using dimensional stone; cinder blocks, or even wood pallet can also work well for the base for a hive. Make sure the ground is level, or slightly pitched so rainwater does not collect in the back of the hive. Winter is the perfect time to take a class to learn about beekeeping and get excited about the upcoming spring and a new hobby.