What to Expect in Northeast WI in November

Here is what to expect in and around the hive in November.

In the hive

The bees are in their winter cluster and there is little to no egg laying in November.


  • You may insulate the hive, but be sure foremost to avoid moisture build-up in the hives. Cold is less of a problem for bees than condensation. Since much of the heat escapes out of the top of the hive, some beekeepers add a super with an insulating, absorbent material (e.g., dry leaves, wood chips). Others wrap the hives in black tar paper or similar materials.
  • Leave an upper entrance open for the exhaust of moisture. Tilt the hives forward a few degrees so that any moisture that does accumulate can drain out the bottom entrance.
  • Be sure that any equipment you are storing during the winter that may harbor wax moths has been frozen and/or is stored carefully.

Yard maintenance

  • Consider setting up a wind break near the hives.
  • If it snows, make sure the entrances are clear of snow to ensure proper air flow.

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