Last week, we winterized our bees for their second winter. There are two main components that we we added to the hives to help them get through the winter.
The first is to add a level for sugar in the hives. This is at the top of the hive, so we would prefer that they go to their own stores before going to the sugar, and that is what it seemed like they did last year. There was plenty of sugar left in the hives this spring.
The Second component that we added to the hives is called a “hive quilt”. It is an level that has a burlap sack filled with wood chips hanging in it. During the year, as the bees keep the hive warm, it also stays moist. Normally, this warm, moist air rises to the top of the hive, condenses, and rains back down on the bees. (Not good during the winter) The hive quilt soaks up that moisture and acts as a humidifier without dripping on the bees.