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An instant-read hive thermometer for winter colonies

Do you want to know if your colony is alive without using an infrared camera or a stethoscope? Try an instant-read hive thermometer. This neat idea was sent to me by Ken Armes, a beekeeper in Ontario, Canada. Ken wanted to know if his colony was surviving, but he didn’t think he could get an […] Read more

Are winter bee stings worse than others?

Tuesday afternoon was clear and bright, so I went outside to enjoy the balmy sixty-degree sunshine. Bees were flying every which way, so I walked past my garden hives just to see how many bees were outside doing stuff. Lots, it turns out, and they were hauling in a rainbow of pollen. Once back in […] Read more

Revisiting the coolest Montana bee house

I love cool bee structures. This set-up was built by Michael Skeels of Frenchtown, Montana. I published photos of this bee house back in October of last year, just as construction was finishing. Now it’s up and running and full of bees. Michael sent this update in response to my post about protecting hives from […] Read more

wintertime projects: skeps and honey pots

Over many years of blogging, certain beekeepers have kept me entertained by sending photos of their latest creative masterpieces. One of those is Michael Skeels of Frenchtown, Montana. Like others with a creative streak, Michael uses the long winters to prepare for bee season. This year he writes: You know how winter can be long […] Read more

Thermal images of winter bees

Not once this week but twice, beekeepers have sent me thermal images of their overwintering colonies. Of course both beekeepers were both men—not once has a woman ever sent me a thermal image. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because men have more cents than sense! These folks remind me of soon-to-be new […] Read more

An upper entrance in winter

For nearly ten years, I have not put upper entrances in my winter hives. My primary concern for winter was ventilation, but since I began using ventilated quilts on the top and screens on the bottom, I haven’t had any moisture or ventilation problems at all. My hives stayed dry and upper entrances seemed like […] Read more

Stings of winter bees

Don’t be confused. Today’s post has nothing to do with science or facts; it has only to do with an inkling I get about wintertime honey bees. After years of first-hand observation, it seems to me that the stings of winter bees are worse than the stings of summer bees. Yesterday provided a perfect example. […] Read more