Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 905, Replies: 22 » Jump to the end
Honey Bees in the Garden: The Winter Cluster

By Mindy03
January 6, 2012

At the end of summer honey bees begin getting ready for winter survival. The drones are killed, either by stinging or they are herded out to perish in the cold, cruel world. Brood production stops when winter bees have been hatched to get the colony through winter, and honey stores are built up to feed them during the coming months.

[View the item] Give a thumbs up

Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
vic
Jan 5, 2012 8:07 PM CST
Their life cycle is so interesting.

The part about them dying though makes me sad Crying

I'm reading the book "The Secret Life Bees" and while it is fiction, one of the characters in the story is a beekeeper and the book gives lots of information about beekeeping and at the beginning of each chapter, it gives factual information on bees/beekeeping. It's SO interesting. Thumbs up
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 5, 2012 9:25 PM CST
Great book Vicki. : )

Margaret, even though we had bees for some years, I did not understand the dynamics of the hive during winter. Very interesting. Bet my DH knew that, but I didn't. He did most of the bee work.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Jan 6, 2012 2:50 AM CST
I agree ... bees are most interesting. Thanks, Margaret.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
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
Jan 6, 2012 6:42 AM CST
I'm glad you are enjoying this article.

Vicki I'll have to get that book and read it myself; I might learn something I don't know yet.
The bees dying makes me sad too but when you stop to think about it their short life span is probably equal to our longer one considering their size.

Lynn my husband currently does all the beekeeping stuff and we recently had a discussion on whether the bees use the bathroom inside the hive or not. Most of the information I've found on that says they won't but he says in the winter time when they can't get out they do and clean their hive out when it warms up as soon as they can. We are finding that beekeeping is really a learn as you go kind of project because while something may hold true in some cases it doesn't always hold true in others. Another example of this is several sources say honeysuckle is not a good honey bee plant being more suited to bumblebees and that the honey bees can only reach the nectar if bumblebees chew a hole in the blossom first. Yet here we've seen honeybees working those blossoms without any help from the bumblebees.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Jan 6, 2012 9:17 AM CST
They love our honey suckle and don't seem to have any problem with doing it on their own. : )
And they love the sempervivum and sedum blooms.
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
vic
Jan 6, 2012 12:14 PM CST
Margaret, just a reminder that The Secret Life of Bees is fiction. That said, because she quotes facts about bees at the beginning of every chapter, the books she references from are listed and a wealth of information, I'm sure. Also, one of the main characters in the book is a beekeeper and it's pretty much over my head all the stuff they do to maintain the health of the bees. Plus they make the beeswax candles, etc.
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
Jan 6, 2012 4:20 PM CST
Thanks Vicki I am aware of the fiction part but you know those writers have to research their topic before they can write a good story and sometimes you learn from fiction as well.

I was hoping it included the references so I could check them out so I'm still grateful to you for telling us about the book. Thumbs up
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
Image
Ridesredmule
Jan 7, 2012 7:48 AM CST
Another good article. So much information to learn.
Thanks for teaching us... Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
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
Jan 7, 2012 1:05 PM CST
You are welcome Charleen. Give Charley a nuzzle from me.
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Jan 8, 2012 8:11 PM CST
Poor little bees, they have it rough during the winter! Very interesting, though, thanks, Margaret!
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Maridell
Jan 9, 2012 8:34 AM CST
Great article. Had no idea bees stuck around during winter (backyard variety). Thank you for the lesson Smiling
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
Jan 9, 2012 10:15 AM CST
You are welcome. Not all bees go through winter like honey bees do. Bumblebees for instance only leave the queen to survive through winter.
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Maridell
Jan 9, 2012 12:25 PM CST
I believe we had honey bees in the area this past summer...the little fellows had a path of flight coming and going from a neighbors yard to our bird bath. I plan to be more attentive this next summer to see if they are still around and try to get a better idea of where their hive might be...not that I'm gonna pester them or anything Hilarious!
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
Jan 9, 2012 12:57 PM CST
You won't have to wait until summer Maridel just until it warms up above 50 during the daytime, they will be out hunting for food then. They will especially be looking for pollen to raise their brood on first thing. Are you going to be feeding those bees?
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Maridell
Jan 9, 2012 3:40 PM CST
Never thought of "feeding them". They like some of the plants I have. Besides planting more of what they like....which probably won't happen...is there something else I can do?
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
Jan 9, 2012 5:31 PM CST
A sugar syrup ratio of 1:1 in early spring will help them until they get enough nectar. Just mix it like you would for hummingbirds and set it out where they can get it. Give them something to land on if you put it in an open container. Charleen fixed a nice one last year for the bees in her area after the tornadoes went through there. You'll know when they have enough nectar, they'll quit visiting the sugar syrup mixture. In very hot weather they need water and plenty of it which is why they visit your bird bath. Then in late summer/early autumn they might need more sugar syrup in a ratio of 2:1 (sugar to water) to build up winter stores.
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Maridell
Jan 9, 2012 6:06 PM CST
I can do that! I have starred this so I will be able to find it next Spring. Thanks!
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
Image
CarolineScott
Nov 12, 2013 4:03 AM CST
A good article! I learned something! Thanks!
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
Nov 12, 2013 6:54 AM CST
Thank you Caroline. I'm glad you enjoyed the article and learned something from it.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Jan 30, 2014 7:44 PM CST
@Mindy03
Found this through your link over on Cubits, thanks for the great article. Thumbs up
We have kept bees for 2 years and are still learning. Before building our hive and buying the bee package we studied the videos and book: Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary by Dr Keith S Delaplane of UGA.

I always suggest that non-beekeepers can put out water in a shallow container with a few pebbles so the bees can drink without drowning, but I never thought to suggest that they feed the bees - what a great idea. It is something everyone can do to help the bees.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Honey Bees in the Garden: The Winter Cluster
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"