Monday, October 14, 2013

Honey Bees And Winter Food Stores

As winter approaches we as beekeepers need to make sure the bee hives have enough food to survive winter. Depending on your location and how bad your winter are the bees need different amounts of food stores. To determine how much you would need your hive to weigh talk to a local beekeeper. Ask them how much weight they get their hives up to for winter.

In the northern tier of the states and in Canada no less than 90-100 pounds of food is needed to survive from roughly October to May. In the southern states 65 pounds will usually stretch through winter to the start of spring when nectar begins to flow. In either case winters can be different from year to year. One year it could be a calm winter and other years it may be harsh. So with this being said always play it safe.

After you find out the desired weight to get your hive stores too, You should start by weighing your bee hive. This can be done with a set of heavy duty bathroom scales as seen in pictures below.

Tilt hive to one side and slide scales
under hive.
Now lift the opposite side putting all the
weight on the scales. 


Now read the scales and get your weight.

A second person can make this step easier but one can do it.

 Once you know what your hive weighs now you can do a little math and see about how much of the hives weight is food stores.

The list below is weights of empty equipment.
Weights may vary -+1lb.

Bottom Board (not vented) =  6lbs
Bottom Board (Vented)  =5lbs
Slatted Rack  =  4lbs
Excluder (Plastic)  =  1lbs
Excluder (Metal)  = 3lbs
Excluder (Wood Bound)  =  3lbs

Telescoping Lid  =  11lbs
Migratory Lid  =  6lbs
Copper Garden Lid  =  9lbs

Inner Cover  =  3lbs
Insulated Cover  =  5lbs

Deep Frame  = 1lbs
Medium Frame  =  1lbs
Shallow Frame  =  1lbs

Deep Box  =  10lbs
Medium Box  =  8lbs
Shallow Box  =  5lbs

Drawn Comb  =  ?
Bee Cluster (Volley Ball Size)  =  4lbs

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