UMD Bees All Prepped for Joaquin!

The weather forecast doesn’t look too good for this weekend with hurricane Joaquin heading to the East Coast. In expectation of high winds and rain, we have prepped our colonies at University of Maryland as best we can.

The action items here are: remove unused equipment, condense weight close to the ground, strap the boxes together (and even to the hive stand, if you can), weight the top cover and beware of floods.

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We reduced most of our colonies to 2 deeps high as we started feeding our colonies a couple of weeks ago. This is a good thing in this context as you want to remove all unused equipment to move the weight close to the ground.

Then, check your hive stands. Our stands are pretty sturdy and relatively low (concrete blocks), but otherwise it is also recommended to get the hives all the way down on the ground (as long as you are not in a flood prone area).

In our case, the colonies are on top of a hill, so we are more concerned with the winds than the flooding. We used a ratchet strap to consolidate each stack of boxes. As you can see on the pictures, we actually even looped the strap inside the concrete blocks under the colonies. Also, don’t forget to tie down the loose end of the strap so that it doesn’t flap the side of the hive. If you have extra concrete blocks, go ahead and put them on top of the cover to weight it down further.

Finally, be aware that lose items (deadout equipment, loose covers, etc.) are a threat to both your colonies and neighbor’s properties nearby. Don’t leave any empty equipment lying around that could be sent flying away.

Good luck, stay safe and dry!

Written By: Nathalie Steinhauer

Nathalie Steinhauer has written 5 post in this blog.

Nathalie Steinhauer is a PhD student working under Dennis vanEngelsdorp as part of the BIP team, based in the University of Maryland’s Entomology Department. She has a Master in Biology from Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and a Master Research in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London (UK). Her research interests range from fundamental evolution and population dynamics to applied work in conservation, with a keen appeal to ecological perspectives and to modeling. She will be conducing statistical and epidemiological studies on the data collected from the management surveys of the Bee Informed Partnership and analyzing the results for the use of BIP and beekeepers everywhere. Steinhauer joined BIP in 2012 because “This is where you want to be to try and make a difference in honey bee health.”

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