Apiary in the Snow

By Kathy Cox
Happy Holidays! By now you all have some degree of snow. So, what does it mean for the bees?? They have an added insulation! Remember bees can handle cold so much better than wet. So, the weather is supposed to be snowy for at least the next week. What, if anything, can you do? Not much. I hope your hives all have an upper entrance. You need to make sure to clean off the landing board of snow. And stick a stick in the entrance reducer opening to make sure it is not clogged with dead bees. If you still have a robbing screen on, it can also be full of dead bees, so remove it and scoop as deep into the bottom as you can, removing the dead girls. It is probably good to replace it with an entrance reducer, so it is easier to occasionally remove the dead. Remember this is when the queen starts to lay again with increasingly larger brood nests, so check the sugar every two weeks. We can expect a wet Spring, as usual. Keep an eye out for the temperature to start climbing. Bees will fly at 50 degrees to take a cleansing flight. At 55 degrees they will be searching for the first forage. Dandelions will start to poke theirs heads up along with crocus. April is not that far away.
We will have a short general meeting in January and explain to you the different ways to buy bees if you are a beginner. Then we will go into breakout rooms again, since the last time was a big hit with the club’s community. We will have bee package and nuc vendors in one of the rooms. And the rest of the rooms will be interesting to new and experienced beeks.
I will have the beginner classes laid out by the end of January, so make sure to check the website. Spaces are limited. We are hoping to add an intermediate class with Dawn Beck, so those who are no longer Newbees should watch the website for that class.
See you next year!
Kathy Cox, VP PSBA
Master Beekeeper
Education Chair, Neighborhood Captain
Text 206-465-1464
Email: KCox@pugetsoundbees.org
Website: facebook.com/seattlehoneybees