With snow blanketing some parts of Britain earlier this month, UK manufacturer and retailer of beekeeping equipment, Thorne, offers its advice to ensure your bees are kept well-fed during a cold snap…

Our bees have been out foraging over the last few weeks, like many of yours will have too. This is a great sign – hopefully it means that the queen is laying well and that the size of the colony is increasing.

With this cold snap, it is important to adapt our beekeeping practices to suit the changes in weather. Although you may have already inspected your bees during recent warmer days, the best thing to do now is to avoid going into the brood nest at all as this may chill the bees and the brood.

Equally, you need to make sure they have enough stores to last them through. Even if your bees haven’t been out foraging and you don’t think the colony is expanding in size just yet, the bees need readily available food in order to survive as they cannot fly and forage in such bitter conditions.

These cold snaps happen every year around about now and unfortunately starvation accounts for a lot of colony deaths at this time.

Placing a good-sized block of fondant on top of the holes in the crownboard avoids having to open the brood nest and should at least give them the opportunity to come up and feed if needed. Better to be safe than sorry!

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