How to prepare the bees for the winter


In order for the bees to begin to work actively in the spring, it is necessary that by the spring the bee family is in good condition, and this can be achieved only during normal wintering. In the wild, bees themselves provide themselves with the necessary conditions for winter, and in the apiary the preparation of bees for wintering lies on the beekeeper’s shoulders. Timely intervention in building a nest, feeding or treating a beehive from diseases will help form a strong family for the winter and ensure big honey collections in spring.

Hive inspection

A caring beekeeper always knows the condition of the beehives and bees. But if for any reason the hives were left unattended for a long time, they should be examined at about the end of August to determine the level of preparation of bees for wintering. How to inspect the hives?

The quantity of feed stocks should be sufficient

  • The first thing to determine - brood. In the fall, he must either increase or be at a consistently high level. If it falls, it is necessary to take urgent measures, and if it has completely stopped, then the chance of family survival in the winter drops sharply.
  • The condition of the uterus. With her everything should be good - a healthy uterus - a big and strong family.
  • The quantity of fodder stocks (honey and perga) should be sufficient, if there are not enough of them, this indicator will need to be adjusted.
  • The presence of disease in the hive. Every autumn, the hive and the bees are treated for diseases.
  • The state of the hive (purity, integrity) and the suitability of honeycombs for wintering. Processing the hive and forming a nest for wintering is the beekeeper’s duty, and if this is not done, the bee family simply will not survive.

This is the first stage of preparing bees for wintering. Knowing what is happening in the hives, the beekeeper can schedule his work front and be in time to do everything before the onset of severe frosts.

How to form a nest

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Preparation of bees for wintering after inspecting the hive begins with the formation of a nest. The nest for the winter is formed in the warm season, when the bees begin to stumble into the club, so that during bad weather they do not worry in vain.

Ways to assemble bee nests for the winter

  • For a large family, they usually use a two-sided forming method. It lies in the fact that in the center is set 2-4 frames with honey in the amount of 2 kg. On both sides establish a few full-fledged frames, so that they contain 4 kg of honey. In total, there should be about 25-30 kg of honey in the nest hive.
  • For potentially strong, but not yet large enough families, the angular method can be used. On the edge, one full-fledged frame is installed, and then frames are put in descending order of honey. The final frame should contain up to 2 kg of honey. In total, there should be 3-4 frames in the hive.
  • "Beard" method used for weak bee colonies. In this case, about 10-15 kg of honey is left in the hive in this case. In the center there should be full-size frames, frames from them in sides with a smaller amount of honey in descending order. So that the bees do not “get lost” in the hive in search of honey, they are placed special wooden bars perpendicularly so that they move along them to the storehouses of food.

Highlights of preparing bees for wintering

Not only the formation of the nest plays a role in the wintering of bees. Preparing bees for wintering has several important steps that cannot be ignored in the fall.

Top dressing with sugar syrup has been done since the beginning of September.

  • Increase bee colony. This moment is very important, because in winter the bees have a very difficult time, and if the brood in the fall has ceased early in time, by winter the family will move away in a weakened state. Increasing the number of families can significantly increase the chance of survival of bees, even during a fierce and long winter. Increase the number of the easiest through additional fertilizing sugar syrup.
  • Fermentation of bees with sugar syrup is done from the beginning of September. Conducted in order to stimulate the family to increase brood, as well as to replenish the food supply of bees. Syrup is preparing one to one. It is better not to do large concentrations, as if the water evaporates ahead of time, the sugar will simply settle. Bees do not need it, they will simply ignore it until it turns sour directly in the hive, and this is very bad. It is important to ensure that for each family 25-30 kg of honey and 2-3 honey frameworks are allocated. It is recommended to leave the bees exactly honey. The darker it is, the more likely it is that the bees will not die.

    Before the onset of frost, the hive is insulated

  • Preparation of bees for wintering includes the treatment of diseases. After the nest has been collected for wintering, and the last brood has come out, it is possible to carry out treatment from diseases and pests. The treatment is carried out with a smoke (using a pair of drugs), some drugs are simply mixed into the food for the bees. Get them in a veterinary clinic.
  • Right before the onset of frost, the hive is warmed. To do this, use natural moss, straw or foam plastic. A beehive is literally wrapped with a dense cloth, then with a “mattress” of straw, and the foliage or similar dry material must be poured into the voids formed after that.
  • The place under the hive is to choose a shelter from the wind, heavy precipitation, on an elevation, so that it does not flood in the spring. It is recommended, if there are many hives, to put them tightly to each other - by a wall. This will reduce the number of walls blown by the winds.

Beekeeper tips

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The following recommendations will not make serious mistakes during the preparation of bees for the winter.

  • Inspection of the hives does not always occur at the end of August. For the most part, the preparation for the wintering for the beekeeper begins with the end of the main bribe.
  • In autumn, due to bad weather, bees can settle in the hive and sharply reduce brood or stop it altogether. The problem is that if the uterus ceased its work in the fall, it will be for the whole winter and only in the spring it will again begin to give offspring. In order for the uterus not to stop working ahead of time, the bees need to be stimulated with autumn dressings.

    Hive inspection is not always at the end of August.

  • Sometimes beekeepers add vinegar to the syrup subcortex to increase its acidity. This is believed to be beneficial for bees. Per liter of syrup is taken about a teaspoon of vinegar. However, if you add more vinegar to the vinegar, the bees simply don’t inject this syrup and do not seal it, because sugar will not be processed and it will remain pure and will sour into the hive all winter. In order not to miscalculate, but still create an acidic medium, honey is added to the syrup instead of vinegar (one fifth of the syrup).
  • If the autumn is very hot, you need to specially arrange bad weather for the bees - to slightly open the hive, create a draft, a shadow so that they do not start replacing themselves, as in the spring (this often happens). Otherwise, they will leave for the winter unprepared.

VIDEO - Preparing bees for wintering without errors