In my blog I plan to chat about nature, crafts, baking, gardening, beekeeping, family, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter Prep for Honey Bees

Oh my!  My computer just spent hours down....uploading....downloading...whatev....some new update to Windows that I did not request and every time it asked me to download it, well, I put it off for months.  I guess it's gonna do whatever it wants to do.  If I disappear you'll know why!

So, I have been getting my hives ready for winter.  When I bought all of this sugar, at Aldi's, cheapest place I could find it, the guy in line behind me said, "are you trying to turn into a diabetic or something."  I said, "yeah....that I just love me some sugar."

So, I read two sugar cake recipes for feeding your bees in the winter.  In the past, they have always had enough honey to last them through the winter, and if I wasn't sure I would buy a candy board from a beekeeper.  But I didn't want to pay the price for 9 hives, and I decided I could 'you tube' a recipe, so I did!  One was 15 pounds of sugar a hive, and one was five.  I went with the five pound per hive recipe.  I have nine hives.  That's 45 pounds of sugar just for the candy boards and these are 4 pound bags.
And lucky for me a beekeeper friend of mine had ordered the edible essential oils that were necessary to make this sugar cake recipe.  She made a jar up for me.  Beekeepers are the nicest people.
You use very little liquid...
so it's very hard to stir it all up.
Then you put it in the oven with the oven light on overnight.  It is suppose to harden, which it did, but not enough.  They were still crumbly even after a couple of days. 

I decided before I made nine of these recipes I was going to test them out first.  The bees loved it!  WOOHOO!!!

So, I took styrofoam insulation and cut it the size of each hive.  I wrapped it with a feed sack, put it in the top of the hive.  Put the sugar cakes under the wrapped insulation, but on top of the frames. Easy access for the bees. Then I wrapped the entire thing in saran wrap.   I've never insulated inside the hive before.  It was my beekeeper friends idea and I decided why not.
In the meantime, every day it's above 50 degrees and sunny outside, I make them some sugar water to drink. 

I have been working very hard trying to get my bees ready for winter this year.  I hope we do not have a winter like last year.  But if we do, I know my bees will not starve to death.  I hope they don't freeze to death. Time will tell.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Cindy Bee




8 comments:

  1. Cindy, I pray for you and your bees. We need bees. I have to admit you are a very kind bee keeper. You do your best for them. We are to have some snow possibly this weekend. Stay warm. xoxo,Susie

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  2. Although I hate to admit it, I never thought about keeping them warm in winter months....very interesting!!...:)JP

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  3. You will be very busy with those bees this winter! I've about "had it" with updates. The last time I did that update thing, many of the Windows 8 tiles have disappeared, and I lost information and pictures that had been stored in the computer. It was almost as though the computer had crashed. I've had to reenter passwords, etc. Such a headache!

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  4. I really hope they survive this winter, Cindy. They sure seem well looked after. And I'm crossing my fingers that we don't have another winter like last year, but as I look out the window I can see snow falling which isn't a good sign.

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  5. I hope they make it ok!! I'll have them in my thoughts. I wish you a wonderful weekend!!

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  6. Hi Cindy, well, you learn something new everyday . . . I never thought about the care of bees. I just thought giving them a hive instead of a hole in a tree was it. Boy! I've got a lot to learn:) You are a sweet little Bee Keeper and I'll bet all of those little buzzy bodies think of you as Mom:)
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Connie :)
    P.S. I lived in Tennessee for a while back in the 60's. The grocery stores where suppose to report anyone that was buying a lot of sugar, because of stills. I thought that you were going to say that the man at the store thought that you were a moonshiner, LOL.

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Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment on my blog. I enjoy reading them. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Cindy Bee