Snow cover over Finland

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Queen Bee
Nov 8, 2008
Reaction score
Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type
Today we have snow cover in whole country.
Bees will be quiet in they cottages up to March.
Snow stuck often the main entrance but the upper entrance is open.

Later in December I put piece of earth construction textile to protect hives against wind, birds and snow. The back is open to give fresh air.

This period is about 3 monhts. Then cleansing flight happens. Bees sleep 1 month again before snow melts at the beginning of April.

Bees start small brooding before cleansing flight despite off that temperature outside is -10 - 15C. Lengtening days give a signal to brood rearing.

That totally in period is very easy in beekeeping.

Quite few pay attention to early spring when you may give early start to real build up. Canadin beekeeprs speak much about early build up.

The hive insulation and ventilation affects in the build up when colony rise its temperature to 32C. Food consumption very big compared to autumn.
Many speak about small wintering and early spring build up. But that is impossible mathematics. I know, I have researched it.

The rearing rate of workers is 3 weeks. What ever you do, first generation of brood depends on the number of nurser bees in wintered cluster. If you give patty to bees, brood area may be as big as those who does not give patty.

But if you do not give patty, it will come a day when pollen stores are finnish in the hive and larva producing stops. The expansion happens when the first generation of new bees start to nurse larvae. It is explosion if they get all the time protein and the hive is warm. The warmer is the hive the wider is the brood area.

Before summer 5 frame hive may keep warm about 2-3 frame brood area. When the cluster occupye 15 frames, it may have 10 frames of brood. The area of brood in the frame may be from corner to corner. In smaller hive the patch is palm size.

I have wondered how patty and electrict heating produces huge results in biggest hives. In small hives about 5 frame nothing happens.

So dont split you hives in spring!
Don't think that small colonies have quick spring build up.
If the hive does not swarm, reason is maybe that it has been too small in early summer. Many beekeeper like it.

Enjoy your snow!

I live actually in the capital city Helsinki. My flat stands on the island of sea. As long as sea is open, we have not real snow.

My home place.
Hives are 150 km to east.

There are no bees on this island


But normal winter looks like this: sea ice
I have went this route many times


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