One of the many questions I get about keeping honeybees in Saskatchewan is “How do they survive the winter?” Well, for winter, I wrap them up snug as a bug in a rug. Literally. The bees get a fall health check (bees can get sick too). I check and treat them for a nasty parasite called Varroa mite as well as a disease called American Foul Brood. To make the winter easier for the bees, we feed them a sugar syrup, sometimes with probiotic supplements, to keep them healthy over the winter. Bees don’t sleep, but they stay in their hive for the winter unless the weather is warm enough for a “cleansing flight” to go #2. Otherwise, the bees stay in clusters for warmth and feed off their honey stores. The best thing for a hive in winter is to be left alone. In the springtime when the temperatures start to warm up, the queen starts laying again and we start a new bee year. I unwrap my hives once the evening low temperatures are consistently above freezing, usually at the end April. May the odds “bee” in their favour!