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Tips on how to safe a residential beehive in preparation for a excessive wind occasion together with a tropical storm or hurricane.
With a Cat 3 hurricane presently bearing down on our neighborhood, I spent a while yesterday securing our yard beehive in preparation for the storm.
I adopted the steps instructed by grasp beekeeper John Morse, founding father of Gem Apiaries.
The steps have been fairly easy, because it seems!
It didn’t contain transferring the beehive in any respect, which might introduce an unlimited quantity of stress to the colony.
For business beekeepers with a number of cell hives with applicable tools for transport, it is smart to easily choose up the hives and transfer them out of the realm fully.
For a residential beekeeper, nevertheless, this isn’t an possibility.
Securing the hive to resist excessive winds is the very best strategy with as minimal disruption as potential.
To Feed or To not Feed?
There are totally different opinions on whether or not it’s a good suggestion to feed bees with sugar water.
My opinion is that, whereas definitely not ideally suited, feeding the hive would possibly generally be crucial below excessive circumstances.
A hurricane probably qualifies as one of these occasion.
Primarily based on John’s advice, I fed my hive a quart of nonGMO sugar water. This offers them with ample meals to final the 1-3 days of excessive wind and torrential rain when foraging wouldn’t be potential.
By no means ever feed your bees an answer of excessive fructose corn syrup or plain white sugar.
Each of those decisions are of GMO origin and sure comprise glyphosate residues that may get into the honey.
As well as, make sure to use filtered water to keep away from giving your bees poisonous chlorine, fluoride or different substances generally present in faucet water.
In different phrases, make sure to use nonGMO cane sugar blended with filtered water, for those who select to feed your hive earlier than the storm.
One other suggestion is to make use of a wide-mouth glass mason jar with a nonBPA lid for feeding and keep away from plastic.
Securing the Hive
An important step in getting ready your beehive for the arrival of a excessive wind occasion like a hurricane is to safe the highest of the hive in order that it might’t simply get blown off.
Including weight to the hive can also be essential to maintain it from getting knocked over.
That is completed with heavy-duty bungee cords or rope.
As you’ll be able to see from the picture above, I mounted two bungee cords tightly across the total hive.
This contains looping the cords beneath and attaching the hive to the 2 massive concrete blocks that function its basis.
The hive sure along with the concrete blocks weighs it down significantly.
As well as, the placement of the colony is tucked away with surrounding protecting vegetation. Thus, solely the strongest winds might topple it.
Closing Off Air flow
A screened backside board (like this one) is utilized in Langstroth-style hives to extend air flow.
I hold mine open many of the 12 months as a result of heat temperatures.
I shut it up when chilly fronts come by way of to help the bees in sustaining an optimum temperature contained in the hive.
Nonetheless, within the occasion of excessive winds, it would make sense to shut this off to forestall wind gusts from developing beneath the hive, by way of the display screen backside board, and lifting the hive away from the inspiration.
Actually, if the incoming storm was going to drop the temperature considerably, closing off the underside air flow would positively be a good suggestion.
As well as, relying on the route of the wind, it would make sense to shut off the doorway to the hive as effectively.
Provided that our neighborhood won’t be experiencing a direct hit from the hurricane’s most ferocious winds, I’ve chosen to not shut off air flow.
As well as, the temperatures will nonetheless be round 80 °F in the course of the top of the storm, so closing the air flow would possibly make the within of the hive too heat.
Nonetheless, I’d change my thoughts and do it shortly if the storm makes a last-minute directional change.
What’s your technique for securing residential or homestead beehives in preparation for extreme storms like a hurricane?