For thousands of years, man has plundered honey bee colonies to get honey, bee larvae and beeswax. What goes on in a beehive during winter? The queen is surrounded by thousand of her workers, kept warm in the midst of the winter cluster. When cold weather comes, the cluster forms in the center of the two hive bodies. Winter is the slowest season of your beekeeping cycle. You’ve already prepared your colony for the kinds of weather that your part of the world typically experiences. So, now is the time to do the following: 1. Check that the colony has a laying queen. Look for eggs, larvae and sealed brood. If there is no queen, unite the colony to a queen right colony, or call for help. Your colony should have at least five deep frames of bees. 2. Make sure the bees have enough food! The late winter and early spring are when colonies can die of starvation. 3. You need a house for your bees – hive components like brood boxes, honey suppers (plus extras for switching out during honey flow), bottom board, top board, queen excluder, feeder 4. Clean, repair, and store your equipment such as honey extractor for the winter. 5. Remove the empty feeder when the hive weight is OK. Place an eke, a 25mm high square wooden frame, on the top brood box. 6. Fit a super of drawn combs, including any part-filled combs or combs wet from extracting, to store late season honey from Himalayan balsam or ivy. No queen excluder is needed. 7. Develop a hobby relating to bees. It is the best time for a beekeeper to make beeswax candles, brewing some mead in cold winter.