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Western Dakota Tech beekeeper give buzz on winterizing hives

Before and during the winter, the bees need to be fed using sugar water or honey extract. Rapid...
Before and during the winter, the bees need to be fed using sugar water or honey extract. Rapid City beekeeper and WDT instructor Tim Moran explains what would happen if the hives aren’t protected.(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 10:21 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - From beekeeping classes to hives on campus, Western Dakota Technical College is buzzing with bees. But what happens when winter weather hits?

After extracting pounds of honey, the beehives on the WDT campus were prepped for the winter. When it comes to winterizing beehives, there are four key factors to consider: wind-breaking, insulation, mitigating moisture and supplemental feeding.

Before and during the winter, the bees need to be fed using sugar water or honey extract. A Rapid City beekeeper and WDT instructor explains what would happen if the hives aren’t protected.

“The bees will not survive, the moisture build-up, add that with the cold temperatures are going to cause a situation inside the hive that the bees cannot survive in those conditions,” Tim Moran said. “They wouldn’t survive in the wild, and they won’t survive in our hives.”

Moran says WDT will be offering its first Natural Beekeeping course in the Spring.

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