Honey Bees in the Garden... August: preparing for winter

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Honey Bees in the Garden... August

By Mindy03
August 1, 2011

August is another hot month for both gardeners and honey bees. Water for plants and honey bees remains a top priority. You may also find the honey bees you encounter are more aggressive than they have been since spring. That's because they are anxious to store enough food to last the colony through the coming winter. Be careful when you bend to sniff a flower, a honey bee might be there and will think you are trying to get the nectar for yourself.

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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
The WITWIT Badge Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Birds Bee Lover
Dragonflies Herbs Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Composter Hummingbirder
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wildflowers
Aug 19, 2011 7:01 PM CST
Thank you for more information on honeybees! Always enjoy learning.

I'm wondering about honey bees preparing for winter - do they migrate to warmer temps or do they stay put?
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Aug 20, 2011 6:15 AM CST
They stay put in their hive. From now until frost stops the plants blooming in colder areas they will be busy storing honey for winter use. They store more than they actually need and just before it gets too cold for them to fly they will eat the extra honey if you don't take it off first. When the temperature drops below 50 they cluster together and vibrate their wing muscles to generate heat. Think of a swarm to get an idea of this clustering, only in a tighter ball. The colder it gets, the tighter the cluster is. The queen is always kept in the center of the cluster. And they rotate positions so everyone can get to the honey to feed. When they are in a tight cluster, they can't move and if it stays that cold for too long they can starve to death even though there's plenty of food available because they can't move to reach it.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
The WITWIT Badge Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Birds Bee Lover
Dragonflies Herbs Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Composter Hummingbirder
Image
wildflowers
Aug 20, 2011 6:45 AM CST
Wow honey bees really are amazing little creatures.

It gets pretty cold here in the winter (colder than most parts of Texas). So when placing the beehive, it's probably a good idea to have it facing to the south, so in the winter they are at least getting the sun shining on the hive to keep them warmer.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Aug 20, 2011 6:48 AM CST
In your area I'd select a spot that is sheltered from winds but gets plenty of sun in winter. Which way it faces isn't as important as protection from winds and sunshine to help warm the hive. But at the same time you want to select a spot that offers some shade in the summertime.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
The WITWIT Badge Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Birds Bee Lover
Dragonflies Herbs Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Composter Hummingbirder
Image
wildflowers
Aug 20, 2011 7:45 AM CST
Great, thank you Margaret.

We'll have to find a spot for the bees that is comparable to how our house is situated. Hilarious! Maybe in a lower area of our hilly terrain so they are better blocked from the wind also.

Our house is shaded on the south side by deciduous trees to keep it cooler, and in the winter when the leaves fall, the sun shines inside, warming us up.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
Mindy03
Aug 20, 2011 10:25 AM CST
Just remember not to place the hive in a spot that stays damp and you'll be fine.
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Aug 21, 2013 7:04 AM CST
I will have to go through your lists when I order seeds for next year!
Thanks for doing them.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Aug 21, 2013 8:42 AM CST
You are welcome. I hope to get back to doing the lists for next year. Life has been crazy around here.

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