This is what I prepared the hives for. It is so different going into the Winter months with bees. The song by the BeeGees (lol) – “Staying Alive” comes to mind. Thankfully the Winters here are not extreme. This snow accumulation of three inches has lasted for around week but is all gone now. Just enough snow to let us know Winter is coming.
Each morning I make my way to the bee yard. I inspect the entrances and look around the hives. Then I stop to listen. Even with the snow flying and the temperatures dropping I can hear the amazing hum of the bees in the hive. It is a peaceful and almost comforting sound to me. I know they are alive and well and that puts a smile on my face. On the surface it would appear nothing is going on until you can hear them. I have discovered I can hear the bees better if I go to the front of the hive near the top entrance/ventilation notch. This way I don’t make any noise on the walls of the hive. I also read somewhere that making noises such as knocking on the sides of the hive causes the bees to consume more honey. In the Winter the more honey they can conserve the better.
I was amazed when I learned honeybees do not hibernate and stay active all year long. This why when the temperatures get over 40 you will see bees flying about. Cleansing flights are performed and some even come back with some pollen.
During Winter the bees cluster and stay warm. They go into a state of torpor when the temperature gets cold. Torpor is like intermittent ‘hibernation’ or a low energy state to conserve their consumption resources.
Tomorrow the forecast is for a high of 54 degrees and then the temperature will dip down to 19 degrees on Christmas Day! Crazy, eh. I will be on the look out tomorrow for the busy little gals taking cleansing flights and cleaning up the entrances.