Protection of Honey Bees in the Winter

  Written by: Mir Aqa Etibar


Bees feed on a variety of flowers and plants that usually grow in spring and summer and last until late autumn, but with the cooling of the weather, the flowers and plants dry and bees’ feed also ends. Beekeepers have to move bees to an area with hot weather. Some beekeepers are not unable to move their bees to warmer areas due to their problems and thus they face economic problems.

 AEPO’s writer/producer has talked to some beekeepers and an agricultural expert about this issue.

Muhammad Tawfiq, a resident of Parwan province says, “I had 80 beehives at the beginning of the winter but I lost the bees of 10 hives in the winter and I faced 50 thousand Afghanis loss.”

Rahmatullah, a resident of Kapisa province says, “I had bought 20 beehives for 120 thousand Afghanis  but all the bees died in the winter.”

What do beekeepers think about the causes of bee deaths in the winter?

Muhammad Tawfiq says, “The cold weather, moisture and not well feeding the bees in the winter caused the death of bees.”

Niazai, a resident of Paktika province says, “One winter we could not move the beehives to Pakistan and in the area where we were keeping bees, had mice and the mice had made holes in the hives, the cold weather caused the death of bees.”

An agricultural expert, Abdul Jamil talks about the causes of this issue, “Due to the weakness of bees; aged of the queen bee, humidity; moisture of the place of keeping bees and cold weather might cause the death of bees in the winter.”

How some beekeepers take care of bees in the winter?

Tughral Naqshbandi from Mazar-e-Sharif city, Balkh province says, “I keep bees and I prepare their foods for the winter. I mix two cups of sugar in a cup of water, and a little apple cider vinegar that cleans the bee's respiratory system and keeps them safer from some other diseases.

I put two bricks under each box so that it might be kept from moisture, and I put a straw mattress inside each hive to prevent cold weather in the winter.”

Abdul Jamil Karimi says, “In the first step, beekeepers should produce young bees in September. They should prepare a special feed for bees in the winter.

They can mix two portions of sugar in one portion of water and put 200 mg per day to each beehive and if one beehive has more and one less bee, they should keep the bees of these two hives in a single box.

They should put the beehives in places with a lid but its four sides should be open and only its ceiling should be covered to be protected from snow and rain and never keep bees in basements.”