December: Cluster Tight for the Holidays!

December 01, 2018

What to expect:

Cold weather. Bees will be in a tight cluster and mostly broodless.

What to watch for:

The winter brings cold wet days and therefore allowing for the possibility for Nosema and dysentery. Make sure to check on their honey stores for adequate supply. If your bees are running low on honey you can feed them dry sugar.  

December, like November, is a low activity month for the beek’ and the bees. If your bees have been healthy up to now it is not necessary to get into the hive often. One to two inspection will suffice. If your bees have not looked good, however, it would be a good idea to monitor them more regularly.

When inspecting make sure the temperature it is the warmest time of the day and not raining or overly dewy. The cluster should be left alone, since damaging the queen this time of year is detrimental. Observe the outside frames. How many frames are full of honey? If there are more frames of honey than there are frames of bees, it is not necessary to feed at this time. If the ratio of frames of bees to frames of honey is opposite, keep a close eye on them, and prepare to feed upon the next inspection (7 to 10 days).  If they are no honey present, then you can feed the dry sugar.

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