Snowy entrances

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Drone Bee
Dec 4, 2008
Reaction score
Dordogne 24360 France
Hive Type
Number of Hives
16 a mix of Commercial, National, 14 x 12, Dadant and a Warre
After las nights snow - yes we get the white stuff over here too:) - All my hive entrances are blocked with snow. What would you do? and why?
Just noticed that the top right hand hive in the picture looks as if the bees are flying - they are not it is the seed heads of a plant in front of the hive:):):)
:cheers2: Mike
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I would block them in (snow is porous think snow holes) and wait for the snow to melt.

Why? If they pop out for a cleansing flight they get disorientated by the reflected light from the snow and land on it and chill to death. An avoidable loss.

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i would clear the entrance's and have a look though the entrances to check all is clear. im thinking of the damp and if they are brave to come out they can
The traditional solution is to lean a board or slate over the entrance, at an angle of about 60 degrees. This leaves the entrance open to the air, assuming the snow isn't too deep, in which case they really need to go on higher stands unless you can keep clearing the entrance of snow.

The board puts the entrance in shadow so they are not attracted out by the bright light.
Not a good plan thurrock leads or can to to considerable losses and seeing thousands of dying bees on the snow is NOT a pretty sight.

Not a good plan thurrock leads or can to to considerable losses and seeing thousands of dying bees on the snow is NOT a pretty sight.


i did not say anything about opening the hive. i were saying about looking at the entrance to see that it is not blocked
i did not say anything about opening the hive.

Neither did PH. He was referring to bees being attracted to the outside, by the strong reflected sun rays, and then failing to return to the hive.

Cannot afford to lose any of the winter bees, let alone a lot, due to abnormal conditions. I would leave mine alone for a couple of days - they are ventilated underneath anyway.

Regards, RAB

The problem you have is caused by the landing board. If you had no landing board the snow wouldn't build up like this. I have a super under the brood box with a queen excluder between, this reduces the amount of light reflected in and once the bees leave the cluster they realise how cold it is before leaving the hive and return to the cluster - that's the theory.

Something I did notice in the picture is the snow on the roofs - showing that MJBee's hives are well insulated.

Sorry I didn't copy the picture correctly.
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Same with the Dartingtons. The entrance can get blocked by driving snow - any can - but the bees are tucked up half way along the hive, well away from the entrance. All ready (hopefully) for shifting the divider along and adding frames in the spring. If the weather persists like it is at the present, I might even fill the end sections with wood shavings!

Regards, RAB
Just leave mine to get on with it, making sure the entrances are clear every couple of weeks and with enough stores. The bees seem to be capable of looking after themselves otherwise.

I agree with at least 4 replies:) For the record I leave the snow in place because the reflected light entices the bees out and they perish (PH) If the snow on the landing board melts before the snow on the ground I prop a piece of ply on the landing board to shade the entrance (Rooftops). Once the snow has gone I check the mouseguards are clear (bobandbec). Yes the hives are well insulated, they are home made of 23mm cedar and have 100mm of foil covered rockwool in the roof space (Rab)
Thanks all Mike
I leave the Snow on my entrance board, ...and just to prove it snows in London as well as the rest of England, a photo on my girls Hive this morning

Quite rare in London's Micro climte 2" inches of Snow in December, it was 19c a few week ago
that was a timely reminder. The snow has just about melted on my colonies-:ack2:
Yes, sunny, but COLD so I will bang a bit more insulation in. I had used a bubble layer from an old swimming pool cover- doesn't seem to be enough - will get the thick polystyrene sheets in too.
Muswell I like the beehouse next to your wood hive,you need to put the legs on :hat:

Thats no bee haus that's the ice box full of cold beer:cheers2:

Honest love just down the garden to check the bees:svengo:
of course, if you have a beehaus, it will need about 2 feet of snow to even reach the entrance !!!

Not that I know from experience as we have had no snow in North Wiltshire yet



be careful what you wish for!! (we had an unforecasted snowfall last night!)
If you have a white Beehaus you, and the bees might not even see the hive in this weather...similarly with a yellow one if you have any Inuit nearby.