Master Beekeeping Basics
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Wintering Beehives: Simplify Your Wintering Checklist

Lesson 1

In this course, you’ll learn how to properly winter your hives without going through a 100-point checklist many beekeeper insist you follow. At the end of the course, you’ll also get access to some free resources we’ve put together.

In this course, you’ll learn how to properly winter your hives without going through a 100-point checklist many beekeeper insist you follow. At the end of the course, you’ll also get access to some free resources we’ve put together.

Losing bees is nothing new to the beekeeping industry. However, what might come as a shock is that even in the best of years, beekeepers can lose anywhere from 30% to 80% of their bees

According to sources following an on-going study, the lowest reported annual beehive losses in the United States were recorded in 2011-2012. 

That season saw a loss rate of just under 29%

It’s disheartening to think that 29% is the best loss rate for beehives nationwide since the study began in 2006. 

Some of the mortality rate can certainly be attributed to diseases and other similar problems. But one area that is often misunderstood (and therefore still a problem) is properly wintering your beehives.

Losing bees is nothing new to the beekeeping industry. However, what might come as a shock is that even in the best of years,  beekeepers can lose anywhere from 30% to 80% of their bees


According to sources following an on-going study, the lowest reported annual beehive losses in the United States were recorded in 2011-2012. 


That season saw a loss rate of just under 29%


It’s disheartening to think that 29% is the best loss rate for beehives nationwide since the study began in 2006. 


Some of the mortality rate can certainly be attributed to diseases and other similar problems. But one area that is often misunderstood (and therefore still a problem) is properly wintering your beehives.

Why is Wintering Hives So Misunderstood?

Why is Wintering Hives So Misunderstood?

One of the most difficult tasks for beekeepers in colder climates is prepping their beehives for the winter. If you're just getting into beekeeping, you'll learn very quickly how wide the range of beekeeping advice will become. 

Many “experienced” beekeepers will give you a 100-point checklist of things you need to do in order to successfully winter your beehives. These lengthy checklists often include more extreme measures such as setting up expensive insulation around your hive or inserting sophisticated moisture removal devices.  

At Bear Country Bees, our mentality is to simplify the overly complicated beekeeping processes of the past. Contrary to most old-timer beekeepers, our experience has shown that you really only need to live by 3 main principles of wintering your beehives in order to give your bees the best possible chance. 

We refer to these as our 3 Principles of Hive Wintering and they are as follows:

One of the most difficult tasks for beekeepers in colder climates is prepping their beehives for the winter. 


Many “experienced” beekeepers will give you a 100-point checklist of things you need to do in order to successfully winter your beehives. These lengthy checklists often include more extreme measures such as setting up expensive insulation around your hive or inserting sophisticated moisture removal devices.  


At Bear Country Bees, our mentality is to simplify the overly complicated beekeeping processes of the past. Contrary to most old-timer beekeepers, our experience has shown that you really only need to live by 3 main principles of wintering your beehives in order to give your bees the best possible chance. 


We refer to these as our 3 Principles of Hive Wintering and they are as follows:

  • Make sure your hives have enough food
  • Combine weak hives to make strong colonies
  • Protect your hives from the elements

Important Note

Following these guidelines does not guarantee the survival of your bees. With any number of other factors involved, you may still lose hives despite taking these measures. 

What these steps will do is give your bees the best possible chance to make it through the winter.

We’ll dive into each of these principles in-depth throughout the course. With the above disclaimer in mind, let’s move to the next lesson and take a look at the first principle.

We’ll dive into each of these principles in-depth throughout the course. With the above disclaimer in mind, let’s move to the next lesson and take a look at the first principle.

We’ll dive into each of these principles in this course,

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