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Bees move in for the winter; Brenda gets eviction notice

Forty-nine hives of bees took up residency for the winter. This is Kents' experimental Minnesota winter. The bees usually head south in their hives. (Brett Kent / For the Enterprise)1 / 2
Brenda Kent was evicted from her garage when the bees moved in. (Brett Kent / For the Enterprise)2 / 2

Hello, welcome back to the mid-winter edition of the Beehive. I thought I would let you folks know what is going on in the beehive as of late January.

Being that December was unseasonably warm, we kept the bees outside so they could continue making their cleansing flights.

As January rolled in and the forecast called for an extended period of below zero temperatures, we decided to move the bees into the heated garage.

Therefore, just before the temperatures dropped, I screened off the door openings in the beehives. I also covered all the windows in the garage with tarpaper. This will keep the garage dark and the bees will have less desire to get out of the hive boxes.

Then my son, Ryan, and I carried all 49 hives into the garage. As we started to fill the garage, the buzzing noise grew louder. I do not know if the bees were happy that they were warming up or they were mad that we were moving them. Once we got the hives in place, I set the thermostat at 40 degrees and shut the door.

I check on the bees every day, to make sure the room temperature is in the acceptable range. I have noticed that having 49 beehives in the garage actually raises the temperature and the humidity of the garage. Ideally, if we can keep the room temperature at 40 degrees and the humidity low, the bees' survival rate should be good.

So at this point, I am venting the garage with fans to help lower the temperature and humidity during the day. So far, so good.

Oh, the only casualty during the transition to the garage is Brenda's car. It now sits outside in the snow. I guess Santa didn't want her to have a remote car starter so I guess that will be my job. As always, thanks for your interest.