For those who missed it, here are a few highlights to consider:
- Moisture is a bigger enemy than cold alone - The key trick
is to reduce the drip, drip, drip of condensed moisture from the bees
and the warm air around them that can form at the top of the hive. This
can fall onto the huddled bees below, chilling and killing them.
Strategies include installing "moisture boards" above the cover board
that serve as wicks to the outside, adding a layer of wood chips on
special inserts, or solid foam insulation either above or below the top
cover. Check out online information to learn about different approaches.
- The bees have their own strategy - It turns out that the
bees specialize in the winter with particular assignments. Some serve as
an insulating, warming perimeter for the balled-up cluster. Others pass
food from the perimeter and nearby sources into the center of the ball
of bees, so that the resources are distributed. Some gather near and
serve the huddled queen. If you lose too many bees or there isn't enough
food, the organization breaks down, and the end is near.
- Extra food is normally needed - The amount of food needed to
overwinter Northwestern bees is...astounding. If you have harvested the
honey supers and there is 40 pounds of stored honey in the brood
supers, it might not be enough! At this time of year, cold syrup is
actually a bad resource, like a glass of iced tea on a snowy winter day.
Raw sugar (S&G works best) and homemade recipes for sugar patties
at the top of the hive may be an essential ingredient to get them
through the cold months, setting them up for survival.
Two colonies and 8-frame supers available for free in Conway -
Marshall has to give up his beekeeping hobby, and is making his 2
active colonies and set of 8-frame supers available for free. He is
located in Conway near Morrison Farms. If you are interested and want to
grab them before winter really sets in, just contact him at his e-mail,
Les's Bees has a full line of beekeeping woodenware and supplies in Bellingham
member Les Scott has gone into business providing a wide range of
beekeeping supplies. We featured Les and his operation in the September
newsletter. Check out at leszbees.com
or contact Les Scott directly by e-mail, call, or text: 360-303-0396.
If you have supplies and equipment that you may be interested in
swapping, selling, or just plain giving to other interested members of
the SVBA, send a brief description, price, and contact information to
your editor, email@example.com.
Join Now...or Renew
What a great
time to join the SVBA, or get caught up on your 2022 dues before the
year ends. Your $12 annual dues support the many programs and benefits
that the Skagit Valley Beekeepers Assocation provides - just look at our
website at http://skagitvalleybeekeepers.org
. Think about the return on your investment and what just $1/month brings
building and maintaining such a key part of our regional agriculture
and ecology! The membership form and payment instructions are found at:
|Brad Raspet, President
Dawn Beck, Vice President
Rob Johnson, Treasurer
Susan DeLawter, Secretary
Steve Cecil, Newsletter
Alvin Forar, Board
Seth Smith, Board