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Author Topic: Overwintering Nucs  (Read 6915 times)
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2007, 04:03:26 PM »

I suggest you use our IMAGESTATION PROGRAM as shown below this post - your images will remain full size (up to a meg. - don't share any file over a meg - I think with the exception maybe of WALLPAPER - which make me think of..... It is reallt simple, has a tutorial and you aren't dumb, so you'll breaze through that learning curve. Goodluck.

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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2007, 04:57:29 PM »

Is this the feeder you're referring to John?
http://www.bee-commerce.com/detail.asp?Product_ID=206
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2007, 05:26:46 PM »

>I don't own one of these but was always curious if any members were, I SURELY WOULD APPRECIATE SOMEONE WHO BOUGHT ONE to tell us how well it work.

I have about ten of them.  They are well designed and well made and expensive.  The work fine.  The only things I don't like about them is they are ten frame (and I run eight frame) and they are difficult to take off to examine the colony.  Syrup sloshes a lot.  The other downside is when it's cold the bees won't touch it where they would work a jar feeder that is right over the cluster or a frame feeder right next to the cluster.

What I LOVE about them is they are easy to fill and (if you have a bee tight lid) you don't have any bees drowning to speak of.  You still need to fill it slowly as the bees down in the syrup have to move up (in the enclosed screened area).   And they hold a lot of syrup.

Brushy Mt. has some that hold even MORE syrup and have them in eight frame, but they are even harder to get the bees up into in cold weather as the trip from the cluster to the syrup is even further up and further down.
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2007, 09:20:21 PM »

Now that cooler weather is approaching, I'm still planning to move two nucs into my basement for the winter. I'm planning to feed fondant when they run out of honey stores, and I figure if I add a pollen patty, they can raise a little brood all winter long. I've got slots for my entrance feeders to provide them with water, since they won't be feeding on syrup. The goldenrod is done, and there doesn't seem to be anything else blooming. The bees seem to have stopped bringing back pollen. It's going down into the high 40s to low 50s at night, and mid 60s to low 70s during the day.

Now my question is, when should I make the move? Wait until it gets and stays cold outside, or move them while the weather is still nice enough during the day for them to fly?
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« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2007, 05:12:01 AM »

Now my question is, when should I make the move? Wait until it gets and stays cold outside, or move them while the weather is still nice enough during the day for them to fly?

i don't like to move bees when they aren't flying. moving and jarring the hive could cause them to break cluster. but if you are moving them a short distance and into some warmth it shouldn't bother them much.
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« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2007, 07:26:01 AM »

I would wait until it is cold enough that they won't e flying any more.   Not sure if you are giving them an entrance, but if not, you want them to be able to fly as long as possible before locking them in.  If you are giving them entrance,  I think you want to wait until they won't be flying anymore so you don't loose any to drifting back to the old location (assuming in is near your basement).   The few years I used the basement, I waited until the end of November/December to bring them in.

Hope you have better luck than I did with it.
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« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2007, 07:39:11 AM »

>Now that cooler weather is approaching, I'm still planning to move two nucs into my basement for the winter.

I've not had any luck with indoor wintering.  If you insist, I would research the concept as thoroughly as you can.  Keeping the bees in the 40 F range is good for overwitnering indoors.  Warmer is bad as they are too active.  Anything over 50 F is a very bad idea as they will just kill themselves trying to get out instead of clustering.  If you have them with a tube so they are free flying they might do well in the basement, but they need access to fly so at least they can figure out its too cold to fly instead of "worrying" themselves to death trying to get out.

Try a search on "indoor" here and on Beesource and you'll find some good discussions with people who have succeeded and failed at indoor overwintering.  Most failed before they succeeded and I hope you can avoid their mistakes.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2007, 09:29:17 AM »

I do have a tube for them to get out. Basically, I've built a box that sits up against the front of the nucs, with slots on the sides for the feeders to fit (with water). The tubes hook into the box. On the outside, there's a little box on legs to keep the openings up off the ground a bit and to angle them down, so rain will not get in.

Since cold air will be coming in through the tubes, I expect them to move around freely inside the box, but only go outside through the tubes when the air in the tubes is warm enough for them to fly.

I have two nucs, so I can't rig up the setup you describe on your website, Michael. A heater may work with a dozen or two nucs, but I can't imagine running it all winter long just for 2.

I'll check out Beesource...I'd rather learn from the mistakes of others if I can. Smiley

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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2007, 07:50:08 PM »

If you have a way for them to free fly it should work fine.  My observation hive does well most years in a similar configuration.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2007, 07:46:51 PM »

I like the idea of a fondant.  I have some extracted uncapped honey I could use in the mix.  Does anybody have a recipe for using honey in fondant?  Or can I simply use Robo's sugar candy recipe and replace some of the sugar with the honey?
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2007, 11:04:45 PM »

With honey you have to decrease both the sugar and water content.  At least when baking.
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2007, 01:12:45 PM »

The weather is finally consistently below 50, and the bees have not flown in more than a week, so I decided the time was right to move my nucs inside.

I've hit a small snag in my plan, but I'm hoping to work it out and still get the nucs into the basement and hooked up to the box with exit tubes. My skills as a handyman/carpenter are weak at best. My box to attach to the front of the nucs was pretty close, but there were a few gaps were the bees could escape into the basement, so I had to move the nucs back outside while I problem-solve. I have constructed inner covers similar to the Honey Run Apiaries one, into which I had planned to put fondant and pollen patties. These fit perfectly (I did one thing right, anyway!). I did not add ventilation holes to the walls of the cover, since the nucs have 3 holes in them already for ventilation...the entrance, and one hole near the top at the front and back, both screened (these are Betterbee nucs, so they don't have a full width entrance...just a hole near the bottom in the front).

The worst case scenario, in which I can't get my nucs into the basement at all, means that I need to keep them outside. At the moment, I have the rear ventilation hole stopped up, so the entrance and the hole above it near the top are the only ones open; I thought that holes in the front and back would allow wind to pass straight through the hive, making it tough for the bees to keep warm. The holes as is should create a chimney effect, bringing cold air in the bottom and allowing the heat out the top without allowing a wind tunnel to form. I have 1.5" of styrofoam sitting on top of the outer covers (weighted down), and 1" underneath the bottom of the nucs (which I'm thinking may trap moisture between the bottom board and the styrofoam...bad idea to have this here?). I have the nucs placed as close to each other as possible along the long sides, but they don't quite meet flush along the whole side. I could run some duct tape down the outside of the gap to trap some air in the space, if that would help. I'd estimate the gap is at most 1/4".

If I need to keep the nucs outside, I plan to ensure that they have fondant all winter long in the inner cover; I have it placed right over the holes I made, so they can cluster right below it and feed. Do you think they have a shot, if I need to go this route? Is there something I could do to improve their chances? They're placed on my deck such that they get sun for as long as possible each day.
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« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2007, 02:53:07 PM »

The weather is finally consistently below 50, and the bees have not flown in more than a week, so I decided the time was right to move my nucs inside.
Quote

Under 30 F and snow, and time to move in.  50 F is good temperature outside.

Quote
I've hit a small snag in my plan, but I'm hoping to work it out and still get the nucs into the basement and hooked up to the box with exit tubes.

HuhHuh?
Quote
which I had planned to put fondant and pollen patties.

HuhHuhHuhHuh

Quote
since the nucs have 3 holes in them already for ventilation...the entrance, and one hole near the top at the front and back, both screened
(these are Betterbee nucs, so they don't have a full width entrance...just a hole near the bottom in the front).

The worst case scenario, in which I can't get my nucs into the basement at all, means that I need to keep them outside.


Your plans are quite complicated.

How big are your nucs?

1) have you insulated boxes?

2) Temp near freezing point bees are good to be outside.  20 - 50 F is good to bees to  outside.

3) Then another possibility is keep nucs in outdoor shelter which is dark, outdoor cold and fresh air.
I have smallest colonies in firewood shelter.

 Later I put terrarium heater on  1-3W  in January.  I tried already heating but it was too hot and winter ball dispersed.

One nuc I have outside and it has 3 W heater in the upper part of hive. It has 3 frames for winter. First I thought that I kill the colony but then I begun to play with it.

4) One possibility is to build a big box with styrofoam insulating board. The floor is open and warm air rises inside the box.
Of course you must protect box that wind do not push warm atmosphere off.

**************

Chelter of cellar wintering need that

- temp is under  45F  (7C)
- dark
- good ventilation, fresh air

Many bees will come out and die. It is normal.

.

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« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2007, 04:35:26 PM »


Under 30 F and snow, and time to move in.  50 F is good temperature outside.



This is the case. I've basically been waiting for the bees to stop flying before moving them.



Your plans are quite complicated.

How big are your nucs?

1) have you insulated boxes?

2) Temp near freezing point bees are good to be outside.  20 - 50 F is good to bees to  outside.



I've been trying to keep it as simple as possible, based on my equipment. Inside nucs with access to outside for cleansing flights. Feeding to keep from starving. Providing pollen to enable some brood rearing over winter and buildup in spring.

My two boxes are 5-frame, non-insulated boxes (http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=303). Thus my interest in moving them inside.


3) Then another possibility is keep nucs in outdoor shelter which is dark, outdoor cold and fresh air.
I have smallest colonies in firewood shelter.

 Later I put terrarium heater on  1-3W  in January.  I tried already heating but it was too hot and winter ball dispersed.

One nuc I have outside and it has 3 W heater in the upper part of hive. It has 3 frames for winter. First I thought that I kill the colony but then I begun to play with it.



I don't have such a location available to me with good ventilation, and I've never seen the wire terrarium heater you've shown in your pictures; all I can find are pads or rocks.

Using the heater is similar to my moving the box inside, except that by feeding, I don't have to worry about how much food is consumed...much like an overwintered observation hive.


4) One possibility is to build a big box with styrofoam insulating board. The floor is open and warm air rises inside the box.
Of course you must protect box that wind do not push warm atmosphere off.



I don't think that my building skills or limited woodworking equipment would be up to this.

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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2007, 06:01:07 PM »

Moonshae, I am not sure if I have the right picture of what you are up to or not.  But if the picture I have is what you are doing, I would rethink this if I were you.  You say that you are putting them inside a basement with an exit hose, or something along that line.  That is good in theory, but if the temperatures inside the basement is pretty warm then they might go fly outside for cleansing and perish.  What are your winter temperatures?  If they are below freezing, I think you are asking for a disaster.  Not knowing exactly what your winter time is, my comments may not be correct though.  Have a wonderful and great day, Cindi
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« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2007, 06:38:33 PM »


I don't think that my building skills or limited woodworking equipment would be up to this.




Here is tools and material

If you buy stryfoam construction board, you may split it with knife.  You make a cut, and twist the board and it will split a part.
Then you put a little moisture in surfaces and polyuretane clue. After a minute it is hardened. After using you split the clue point apart.

1) clue http://www.yourzagi.com/images/211-1188_img.jpg
2)  30 mm  insulation board http://www.isover.fi/files/pictures/tu_re_avance300.jpg

3) knife http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/images/knife_parts.jpg
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« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2007, 07:23:20 PM »

Moonshae, I am not sure if I have the right picture of what you are up to or not.  But if the picture I have is what you are doing, I would rethink this if I were you.  You say that you are putting them inside a basement with an exit hose, or something along that line.  That is good in theory, but if the temperatures inside the basement is pretty warm then they might go fly outside for cleansing and perish.  What are your winter temperatures?  If they are below freezing, I think you are asking for a disaster.  Not knowing exactly what your winter time is, my comments may not be correct though.  Have a wonderful and great day, Cindi

If an observation hive can be overwintered in the warm living room with freezing temperatures outside, the only difference here is that my hive doesn't have glass walls. Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2007, 09:39:53 PM »

Moonshae, I understand that.  But my concern is, if the bees are very warm and they think it is warm inside and decide to go out for that cleansing flight, they would freeze the moment that they exited the tube that leads outdoors.  That was what I was speaking about, sorry I didn't make it more clear.  Maybe I am still missing a point in what you are describing.  Beautiful day, beautiful life, Cindi
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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2007, 02:15:58 AM »

If you're concerned about winter the nucs I would suggest that you snuggle them as close together as possible and then wrap the exposed exteriors per Finskey.
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2007, 04:09:40 AM »


If an observation hive can be overwintered in the warm living room with freezing temperatures outside, the only difference here is that my hive doesn't have glass walls. Smiley

As far as I know, observation hives are in very bad condition after winter. They must have cold that they have a calm winter sleep.

Outside temperature for good winter rest is under 7C / 44 F.

The surface temperature in bee ball is 61 F. Inner temperature for ball is 71 F  - If not bees are running here and there.

.
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