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Monthly Tips- Janauary
Check Hives for stores and feed as needed.
Order Nucs, packages and Queens before supply's are gone
Check hives for mice damage, wind protection or dead outs and act accordingly
Attend a bee club and and share some bee fellowship
Ask yourself what you will do in 2013 to make this a better world.
advised - January 2013
Once again our region has had little winter as of Christmas Week. As a young lad at my grandmothers house at 110 Peaceful Hill, I was in the forest and fields all seasons of the year. I can clearly recall significant snowfalls beginning in November and often carrying through to Easter. I looked forward to being in the silent snow swept woods, off to sled on suicide hill with my friends or ice skating until near bed time.
These warm winters do allow the bees to suffer less from cold winds but lack deep insulating protection of deep snows from the inevitable cold of January. The mouse population, thanks to easy travel, abundant food access and longer breeding seasons have exploded this year. It will be important to watch for signs of mouse damage in a hive. This usually consists of chewed entrance reducers, curled bits of beeswax and foundation on warm days and tracks in mud and snow around hives. If you find an active hive with mice it can and should be opened on a 40 degree day and the mouse damaged frames removed and replaced along with an entrance reducer. Since bees use more food when it is warm it will be very important to monitor stores with a gentle lift test at the back of the hive. Hives can be opened for emergency feedings by adding a super with honey over the cluster in temperatures above 30F, the addition of a quart of warm 2:1 Sugar:water feed over a cluster with an empty deep on top, or by making a sugar board and placing it over the center hole in your inner cover.
We are already hearing about huge losses due to the 2012 Drought and as we saw in 2011 are expecting many beekeepers or want to be beekeepers will get no bees if they wait to order. Nucs, packages and queens for spring of 2013 should be ordered in Janaury.
We hope you have a great holiday season and look forward to serving you in 2013.
Joel & Brian Klose