March Beekeeping on the Front Range
While the weather is warming up, March is also the snowiest month of the year in this area, making March beekeeping challenging. This time of year always reminds me of the signs on the way down from I-70. “Truckers you are not down yet. Another 1 1/2 miles of steep grades and sharp curves to go.” (more…)
During times with the weather is cold enough that your bees must cluster, colder than approximately 55f, they are unable to travel anywhere to get food. This includes the floor of the top-bar hive.
In order for them to access food, it has to be essentially in contact with the cluster (1/4 inch away or less!). If you feel your bees need resources for cold weather, you must hang any resources, such as fondant or pollen, for your top-bar hive right next to the cluster.
You can use cheese cloth, or another porous sack, like an onion bag to hang your feed. Form the fondant into a thin sheet resembling the shape of a comb, and staple the bag to a top-bar. You then insert your feed bar right next to the cluster, so they can come in contact with the cluster if they need to.
For short cold periods, if your hive is established and there are stores present, this may not be necessary. For newly installed packages, or swarms with no resources, it becomes more important.
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