Door County Beekeepers things to do in January
- Keep the hive entrance clear of snow and dead bees to allow for proper hive ventilation.
- As soon as the temperature rises to 40 degrees, preferably in January, take a quick peek inside the hive. Without removing any frames, see if you can spot the location of the cluster. How are they doing for food stores? It is a good idea at this time to provide your bees with fondant, sugar candy or granulated sugar to ensure they have enough food.
- If the temperature is too cold to open the hive, you can listen to the hive instead. Do you hear the gentle hum of the cluster? If so, you can be relieved to know your bees are still alive. Wait for a warmer day to open the hive and take a look at them. If you are accustomed to knowing the weight of your hive full of honey, you can also lift the hive slightly to judge how much food stores the bees have left. This will give you an idea how soon they will need supplemental food.
- Assess your equipment and plan for the upcoming year. Now is the time to order new equipment, build, paint, clean and repair if needed.
- Order new package bees and/or queens to be delivered in the spring.
- Attend local bee club meetings, take or register for a beekeeping class, read beekeeping books and articles, and research, study, and make a varroa testing and treatment plan for the new season.