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What is happening in my hive in Winter (Southern Hemisphere)?

Winter is usually the slowest beekeeping season as there is little to do. Also, opening hives in winter can chill the brood and have a negative effect.

June is the month of the year's shortest days, with the Queen's egg production at a minimum, only maintaining small bee numbers. So check your hive from the outside and keep the entrance clear of weeds and other obstacles.

Winter is the season to prepare boxes, frames and equipment for next season.

1. Warmth.

Your hive should be kept as warm as possible over winter. Keep your hive in full sun if possible, protected from wind and frost. In addition, you must tilt the solid base for your hive forward, so moisture and rain drain out of the hive.

2. Food Stores.

Hives should be checked to determine whether they have enough honey stores to survive the winter or fed sugar syrup. Lift the back of the hive to estimate the weight of stored food.

3. New Idea?

I came across an idea from New Zealand. If feeding sugar syrup in winter, it is good practice to warm it so that it does not cool the hive. I might try it.

4. Small Colonies.

Small colonies may overwinter better in a nuc box as they will have less space to keep warm.

5. Queenless Colonies?

Don't assume your colony is queenless if they do not have brood in winter because some queens stop laying in winter and start as the day length and weather warms.

Adelaide Bee Sales

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