Managing Packages in Cold Weather
The Honey Company
Saturday is forecasted to be sunny, but we’ve seen some heavy winter weather this week. Here is some information about how to manage your bees in the cold.
Installing packages in cold weather can be an advantage because bees are less likely to fly away and drift into other hives.
Make sure that the queen stays warm. The worker bees will keep her warm while she is in the package. When you take her out of the package to install the worker bees, put the queen cage somewhere warm, like in your pocket, until you’ve shaken the bees out of their cage and are ready to put the lid back on. Then place the queen, in her cage, in the center of the hive so the workers can quickly cover the cage and attend to her.
Avoid getting the bees wet. Sometimes when we hive bees, we will spray them very lightly with water so they won’t fly while we are installing them. Avoid spraying when it’s cold. We don’t wan the bees cold AND wet.
Feed the bees immediately. Feed is essential when it’s cold because they can’t fly to collect nectar. An inside hive feeder is best in cold weather.