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Brett Kent

Beehive: Trial and error: Bees in the garage didn't work out

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Hello folks, just thought I would sit down and write a quick column to keep you up to speed on what is happening at the Double Bee Honey Farm.

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Well, I have to start by saying that this is the craziest winter, weather-wise, that I can remember.

It turns out that with the

extremely warm but humid days that we had in January, the bees were not doing well in the garage. I started losing some hives due to the high humidity in the garage. Ironically, the bees actually contribute to their own demise. All of those little breathing creatures, and I mean 3 million of them, create so much heat and moisture, that I was unable to regulate the room air to keep the bees comfortable and alive.

So, about three weeks ago, Ryan and I carried all the hives back outside. The bees were able to fly and perform their cleansing flights on several occasions throughout the month of February. The remaining bees seem to be doing well at this point. I do have one concern and that is the bees have consumed most of their food stores.

I have started feeding the bees and as long as the temperatures reach the low 30s occasionally, I will be able to keep feeding the bees. To feed the bees, I put honey in a ziplock bag. I poke little holes in it and then put the bag on the inner cover of the hive. The bees come out of the hole in the inner cover and eat the honey as it leaks out of the bag.

I have to say, that at this point, I would deem the garage experiment a failure. I think in a normal winter, I would be able to put some beehives in the garage, but not 50 beehives in a small garage. I continue to learn through my successes and failures. I was told from the beginning of this venture, that beekeeping in Northern Minnesota is a great challenge. So, we continue to roll with the punches, and come up with some solutions to the problems we face as beekeepers.

Brenda and I, and the bees are looking forward to spring. As always, thanks for your interest.

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