2024.01.11 Winter Bees

Hello Friends,

I took a brief bee break on Tuesday and was reminded I missed my winter bee update for 2023. Apologies for that. I’m pleased to report that our hive is doing well. We have a good winter population with frames of honey, and we have not needed to supplement with feed yet.

The winter is a quiet time for the hive. The bees do not have much to do during the colder months other than survive to the spring and ensure the hive is in good shape for the next generation of bees–something I can partially relate to. Only the Queen and worker bees populate the hive now. The drones, having outlived their usefulness, were all shown the door last fall. In preparation of the winter, our queen laid a special caste of winter workers. These bees will live for longer than their sisters of the warmer seasons, and ensure a healthy population and hive for the spring.

The workers are pretty quiet now, expending minimal energy and doing minimal activity. I like to think of it as they are all cozy and hanging out together doing their winter reading and resting up for their spring chores. On warmer days, plus or minus 50f, bees will leave the hive for a “bio break” and then return back to the hive. Our bees cheat sometimes as our hive faces south’ish, and its entrance leads out from a brick facade that receives some good sun-even in the winter.

For some it’s a little early to start thinking of spring, but I am looking forward to trees budding out, warm sun, our Queen to start laying again, and the workers to begin their hustle to bring in nectar and pollen.

Be well,


Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Public Library