Keeping the bees warm in…snow!

February 26, 2011 | By | Comments (4)


Okay, so maybe we’re silly, and maybe we’re spoiling our girls, but with a freak chance of snow in the forcast for the San Francisco Bay Area (wasn’t it spring just a few weeks ago?), we were worried about the bees. (We’re always worried about the bees; you might say we are hovering beekeepers.) We taped bubble wrap around the back half of their hives, hoping that it would help cut the wind and provide a little insulation. We also slid the sticky boards part way into the hive to keep drafts from chilling the bottom of the bee cluster.

We know that good top ventilation is the most crucial thing in the hive during winter. It keeps the warm moist air created by the bees from condensing on the inner cover and dripping down on the huddled colony. Our hive top feeders/insulation attics have been working really well, and the bees seem to be warm and dry these days.

I know that beekeepers who live in areas where snow falls in heaps and heaps will be shaking their heads and laughing at us. But our hives are fragile right now. Like any other nervous parent caring for sickly children, we want to give our girls every possible advantage.

Keep warm, bees!


  1. jess

    I worry about them having enough ventilation, but hopefully everything will work out ok for your bees. It should be warm in CA soon enough. A bee hive is not that different from your house. Your windows & doors are closed, but really there are many, many minute cracks that let air in and out so you don’t get bad air, moisture and pollutants concentrated in your house. Have an energy audit on your house, you’ll see. The space between boards are the same thing in bee hives. I know there are a lot of opinions on this matter, but generally air circulation is more important than protection from freezing temps. Northern bee keepers say that it’s wet, not cold, that is a danger to bees in the winter. I don’t meant to imply that you are going to kill your bees immediately or anything, just that I would err on the side of dryness more than warmth.

    Good luck with your hives!

    March 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm
  2. Kimberley

    Thanks, Tom and KathyG! We feel better about our coddling with your encouragement. Bees do need all they can get– and being Bay Area girls, they are spoiled and not used to freezing temps! A little bubble protection doesn’t hurt.

    February 28, 2011 at 5:31 pm
  3. KathyG

    You guys are so cute, bubble-wrapping your bees. But go ahead. They deserve all the coddling they can find, in this bee-antagonistic world we live in. Obviously Team Honey is a real honey. 🙂

    February 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm
  4. Tom | Tall Clover Farm

    Nope you are not be silly. I believe beekeeper is synonymous with pet sitter (at least at my house).

    February 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s