Michigan bee hives will be “chilling out” this winter as they wait for the upcoming spring season. For beekeepers, there’s not much to do for your bees over the next couple months. No need to peek on your bee colony – opening the hive risks the escape of warm air. It’s time to just let the bees be.
While bees don’t actually hibernate during the winter months, they do cluster tightly together to stay warm in the hive. Beekeepers may see their bee colony die during Michigan’s cold winter. This is okay. If this happens to you, don’t be embarrassed. It is inevitable that some bee colonies just can’t survive the cold weather. If you’ve already winterized your hives, there isn’t anything else you can do to help them until the weather starts to thaw out in late winter. Until then, enjoy the holidays and the coziness that winter brings. If you want to get a head start preparing for the upcoming apiary season, here are a few ideas:
- Join a local bee club, attend club meetings and learn from others about being an apiarian or share your knowledge with others.
- Spruce up your equipment: Is your equipment in need of repairs? Now is a good time to take inventory of your bee equipment and make any necessary repairs or replace old or broken equipment. If you need new equipment, we recommend Dadant for all your beekeeping supplies.
- Read up about bees and the apiary culture: On a snowy day or night, curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea (mixed with our delicious Hasselman’s Honey, of course) and immerse yourself in the world of bees.
A few of our favorites:
- The Beekeeper’s Handbook 5th Edition by Diana Sammataro
- Backyard Beekeeping: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your First Hive by David Burns and Sheri Burns
For Practical Beekeeping
- Hive and the Honey Bee edited by Joe Graham
- Beekeeper’s Problem Solver
- Beekeeping: Getting Your Bees Through the Winter by David Burns
For the Bee Enthusiast
- Following the Wild Bees: The Craft and Science of Bee Hunting by Thomas D. Seeley
For Continued Learning
- Honey Bee Drones: Specialists by Graham Kingham
For History Buffs
- The Bee: A Natural History by Noah Wilson-Rich with contributions from Kelly Allin, Norman Carreck and Andrea Quigley