photographs wintering

The snow wars continue

Wouldn’t you know it? Now we have the Canadians battling for first place in the snow wars. So far, I don’t think there’s much question. Phillip Cairns, intrepid beekeeper and author of, had to do some serious digging to find this hive right in his own backyard. The second photo shows the hive “after the melt.” I’d hardly call that a melt, but whatever. The bees did fine.


Deep down under there: Lo! A hive! Hive and photo © Phillip Cairns.


Two days later after a Newfoundland “melt.” © Phillip Cairns.


  • I wish I had some pictures. I might top that. I have bees on a dairy farm. During the melt, the snow let go off a metal roof and proceeded to make my colonies horizontal and cover them in snow.

    I was fortunate as the dairy farmer called me and I was not working that day so I shoveled it out that day and it was 7 Celsius. What a mess.

  • Rusty, we have vented tops on our beehives. I went around yesterday to check the hives and took my flashlight and looked into the vents, and icicles were covering the top. This winter has been extremely brutal. Sunday is supposed to be nice, about 30, so I was thinking of removing the tops and getting this wetness out of the hives. I am assuming if there is warmth and moisture to make icicles then the hives are alive. Have you ever uncovered a box and had the top completely covered in icicles? This year, fortunately, I used your moisture box method, (candy board, moisture box, inner cover, then piece of insulation, then top cover). I’m hoping for the best. This year, for sure, I think the moisture board idea is not only keeping the hive warmer, but keeping that cold out. I am glad I used it.

  • Well, everything looked great this morning when I went in to check the hives. It was so beautiful out this morning, over 55 degrees, when I went out to open the animal buildings and get them aired out before the rains, I thought to myself, why not check on the beez, it’s 5 a.m. they should be up. So I opened the tops, removed the inner covers and check the moisture boxes .. dry ….the bees were working the candy boards in some of the hives and in others, they hadn’t touched them yet. This is the first year I have not had green moisture laden inner covers and tops. The moisture boards work great. I would recommend them to everyone who has harsh cold winters like we did this year. They tend to keep the hive warmth more toward the bees while not letting the air chimney thru like a breeze. I like them, and thank you so much for providing us the information on your website. I had read a lot of negative reviews on the moisture boxes, but to me, they work wonders for the bees. I will be writing rebuttals to the others about their negative comments not being true, but erroneous. Once again, Rusty, thank you so much for your teachings. I appreciate them, the have helped me quite a bit.

    • Debbie,

      It’s funny, but most of those who bad-mouth moisture quilts have never tried them. They heard stories from other people who haven’t tried them and just pass it on. Many people are not inquisitive at all and are quite happy to side with rumor. You can’t help them.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.