“Cold doesn’t kill bees” they say.

Well, we’re gonna find out, won’t we? I’m attempting to overwinter a colony in a “flower pot” style swarm trap. They moved in some time in June, but I kept putting off hiving them until it was too late. I brought them home and leaned them against my barn, then I covered the whole thing with a tarp and logs to protect it from wind, rain and snow. It weighs about 80 pounds, so I know they won’t starve. They also chewed a few additional entrances in the back and sides of the trap, so they have plenty of ventilation. Their genetics are sound. They most likely have an overwintered queen from my buddy’s treatment-free apiary where I had the trap. We just got clobbered by snow today, about 8 inches, so I took the picture below.

They are bone-dry under there, and usually you can see the cluster, but not today.

My spool colony is going into another winter. They swarmed a few times, and I raised some queens off of the mother queen to head a bunch of other colonies. I can’t wait to see how they pan out. All of my colonies are as heavy as wet cement, so I’m feeling good about this winter.

My long lang is under a lean-to, but somehow still got covered in snow. This thing is the “Cadillac” of beehives. 2 inches thick all the way around, and insulated on top. We’ll see how they do. I didn’t requeen the swarm I put in there because I retrieved them in a very undeveloped area. They could possibly be feral bees, so I will see what they have.

Many people stress about their bees during winter. I look forward to it for my bees, even though I hate the cold. Only the best will rise to the occasion and be around when the crocuses start blooming.

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Author: brucelovesbees

I keep honey bees in Reading, Bernville, and Fleetwood, PA without treatments. I love to garden and observe Wasps, Bumble bees, and ants. I also raise mealworms for my Eastern Spotted turtle and myself.

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