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.





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