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  • Writer's pictureMGeslock

What to do with you package bees when its cold out

When it's cold outside, handling package bees requires some special considerations to ensure their well-being. Here are some tips on what to do with package bees in cold weather:

  • Keep Them Warm: If you have not yet installed the package bees into their hive, it's crucial to keep them warm until you can do so. Store them in a warm area, ideally between 50-70°F (10-21°C). This could be inside a garage or a climate-controlled room.

  • Delay Installation: If the weather is excessively cold, it may be best to delay installing the package bees until conditions improve. Bees are more resilient to cold when they are in a cluster within their hive, but they are more vulnerable in a package.

  • Feed Them: If you need to keep the package bees for an extended period before installation, make sure they have access to food. Provide them with a sugar syrup solution (1:1 ratio of sugar to water) in a feeder. This will help sustain them until they can be installed.

  • Avoid Disturbances: Try to minimize disturbances to the package bees while they are in transit or waiting to be installed. Handling them excessively can cause stress, which can be detrimental, especially in cold weather.

  • Protect from Drafts: Ensure that the area where the package bees are stored is draft-free. Drafts can chill the bees and make them more susceptible to cold-related stress or even death.

  • Monitor Temperature: Regularly check the temperature of the storage area to ensure it remains within the acceptable range for the bees.

  • Handle with Care: When handling the package bees, do so gently and avoid shaking or agitating them. Stress can weaken the bees, making them more susceptible to cold temperatures.

  • Install During Warm Weather: If possible, plan to install the package bees into their hive during a period of warmer weather. This will minimize stress on the bees and give them the best chance of establishing themselves successfully.

By following these tips, you can help ensure the well-being of your package bees during cold weather conditions.

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