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Stocks To Be Protected On Some Occasions


The worst time for them to leave the hive is immediately after a new
snow has fallen, because if they light on it then, it does not sustain
their weight; and they soon work themselves down out of the rays of the
sun, and perish. Should it clear off pleasant, after a storm of this
kind, a little attention will probably be remunerated. Also, when the
weather is moderately warm, and not sufficiently so to be safe, they
should be kept in, whether snow is on the ground or otherwise.

For this purpose, a wide board should be set up before the hive to
protect it from the sun, at least above the entrance in the side. But
if it grows sufficiently warm so that bees leave the hive when so
shaded, it is a fair test by which to tell when it will do to let them
have a good chance to sally out freely, except in cases of a new snow,
when it is advisable to confine them to the hive. The hive might be let
down on the floor-board, and the wire-cloth cover the passage in the
side, and made dark for the present; raising the hive at night again,
as before. I have known hundreds of stocks wintered successfully
without any such care being taken, and the bees allowed to come out
whenever they chose to do so. Their subsequent health and prosperity
proving that it is not altogether ruinous. It has been recommended to
enclose the whole hive by a large box set over it, and made perfectly
dark, with means for ventilation, &c. (A snow-bank would answer equally
well, if not better.) For large families it would do well enough, as
would also other methods. But I would much rather take the chances of
letting them all stand in the sun, and issue as they please, than to
have the warmth of the sun entirely excluded from the moderate-sized
families. I never knew a whole stock lost by this cause alone.[20] Yet,
I have known a great many starved, merely because the sun was not
allowed to melt the frost on the combs, and give them a chance to get
at their stores.

[20] Vide other causes of loss, a few pages back.

Next: Do The Bees Eat More When Allowed To Come Out Occasionally In Winter?

Previous: Effects Of Snow Considered

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