January Hive Maintenance

January is a good time check your hives for adequate stores. You can do this by tilting or lifting the hive and checking for weight. There should still be a substantial amount of stores in each hive this month, so if there’s not a good heft to it, it may be time to start an emergency feeding.

It’s too cold out for feeding syrup at this time – they won’t take it. There is a dry sugar feeding method that’s easy and not very invasive, now known as Mountaincamp method. There’s a good write up of it here: Mountain Camp Method of Dry Sugar Feeding (In the NW we generally have pollen year round, so read the bits about feeding pollen with that in mind). Of course, you could also just fill a frame feeder with dry sugar.

Also, entrances can become blocked from dead bees especially, after the recent snows. So, clear the entrances out of dead bees the best you can. Clean up any dead-outs by shaking out dead bees, and cleaning up the frames as soon as it’s determined you have one.

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