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Author Topic: Wintering in the shelter  (Read 1742 times)

Offline Finsky

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Wintering in the shelter
« on: November 07, 2007, 03:11:32 PM »

Wintering in the shelter is very easy and safe way to get small colonies over winter. You just carry them to shelter.
Shelter stays cool in late winter when outside bees allready fly.

You need only silent place, where is fresh air and dark. If shelter temperature is under +7C and it is dark, bees stay in their house.
Shelter keeps hive dry and protect against wind. It cut too  coldest temperatures because earth give warm to shelter.  Shelter system needs no special arrangement. You just carry hive to shelter.

I live on the level of Anchorage 60 degree and our coldest weather are about  -20C in February. The worst thing to bees are long,  hard frost periods.

In Middle Finland temperature goes down to -30C easily. Winter is severe and about 1 month longer than in my area.
There hives are often kept under snow or in cellar.  In cellar temperature tends to became too warm because bees produce heat.

Cellar system need good ventilation. I kept my one-box hives in the cellar  many years and they got all bad nosema. So I started to keep all outside.

Now I started to keep smallest colonies in firewood shelter. No one lives in my cottage during winter and hives are in peace.
Results have bee splended. Now I enlarged the shelter and I put half of my yard into shelter.

STILL bee need warm insulated hives, because they will be outside after snow winter. They start brooding, rise up hive temperature and they consume food many time more  than in autumn.

I meant that in shelter hive should be like hive out of doors but in shelter better to bees and protected from many nuisances.
After cleansing flight hives stand at same line when they start brooding.

In smallest colonies (2-3 frame) I use now terrarium heater. Results are fine.  Earlier I did not try to winter under 5 frame colonies because they got badly sick. Further more varroa makes small hives weaker for winter. Electric heating seems to aid fine ultra light colonies.

You may do a big box for hives from insulating board. You leave bottom open and let air ventilate via open bottom.  Then you pile 2 or 3 hives during worst winter. Hives give heat to box and insulation keeps wintering place warmer than in crude air.




Offline JP

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 08:07:09 PM »
That is some great information you posted there Finsky. Have you noticed a difference in your winters say in the last 10 yrs because of global warming?
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Offline Finsky

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 11:09:03 PM »
. Have you noticed a difference in your winters say in the last 10 yrs because of global warming?

Yes much!

15 years ago I have i meter snow often. I wintered hives under snow. Now during 15 years we have had snow quite little, often not to hive entrance. Bees have done well.

I have lived on the isle of capital city since year 1973.  73/74 sea did not frozen. Then it took up to 1994 when it did not frozen next time. During 15 years we have had 4-5 winters when our sea have not had ice cap during winter.

During few years September has bees almost summer month. Very seldom has bees flight in October, but now I am feeding them in October.

What it is? - However warmer than before.  1986/7 we had the coldest winter in century.

.



Offline the kid

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2007, 12:00:26 AM »
This week ,,, I got a hive from someone ,  with to much to do ,, and couldn't care for the girls ...   now I'm thinking of heating them ( its a small cluster  ) what temp do I turn it on or off ??????
were and how do I put the heater ?????  If I dont heat I dont think its going to make it to spring ..
I want to try and get this one to spring .
they are out of the wind and will get some sun ...  ( inside of a fence ))
Im a new bee  ,,,,, 2nd summer with hives ..   
help needed
the kid

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Offline Finsky

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2007, 12:29:02 AM »
This week ,,, I got a hive from someone ,  with to much to do ,, and couldn't care for the girls ...   now I'm thinking of heating them ( its a small cluster  )   

Location mn?

First look, how much they have capped honey.
Restrict bee space to so small which bees can occupy from corner to corner.
Gather the most food consisting frames to bees.
Give oxalic acid trickling  4 ml into each gap of occupied frames.  ...or spraying with 1% oxalic acid juice.

Insulate the hive box.
Arrange entrance open  8 mm high and then upper entrance for ventilaton

Put the heater on the empty side of beebox. Not under the cluster.
Good heater is 3 W during winter.

Heater may be old phone accu loader, terrarium heater or 3 W night lamp or something which makes heat.

What happens to small colony? - If varroa  has violated  wintering bees badly, nothing can save it. With acid you se the mite load. Don't shake with sugar. Just give oxalic trickling or spray. Sprays is easy if you have 3-4  frames occupied.

 

Offline kansas

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2007, 11:10:33 AM »
Finsky,...... what are your thoughts on sugar shaking?

Offline Finsky

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2007, 01:24:23 PM »
Finsky,...... what are your thoughts on sugar shaking?


In Finland some guy made doctor research about sugar shaking and said that it is good. No one use it here.

Many use to find out if hives have mites. I know that every my hives has mites, and I do not care how much. 80% are under brood cappings.  Calculating and shaking helps nothing.

I follow mites crudely looking what is inside drone brood.

Are they many or few, I give oxalic juice on bees once a year. Last year I did not see many mites but every hive dropped 300-500 mites in autumn with oxalic.

Now I have seen a lot of mites but I do not calculate or shake them. I just give this weekend oxalic acid tricking and that is what I do for them. If hive has 1 mite, I want to kill it. If it has 1000 mites, I want to kill them too.

Important is that mite level is so low, that they will not violate next autumn's brood = wintering bees.

If some hive has too much mites in spring, I will handle it with dutch method: http://www.xs4all.nl/~jtemp/dronemethod.html

I have killed mites 20 years, and I see no interest on issue any more.  8-) They are my friends...actually. Mite killed German black bee race here.







Offline the kid

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2007, 11:42:26 PM »
YES Im in   MN ,,,,    Im  35 miles  north of  minneapolis   
I thank you for the reply ,, I think I'm going to get a terrarium heater and give it a try
thanks again
the kid

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2007, 07:43:25 AM »
>In Finland some guy made doctor research about sugar shaking and said that it is good. No one use it here.

I have never used it, but it's interesting that many other people have done their doctorate or masters on sugar shaking and say that it does.  Numbers run from 80% of the mites removed to 50% of the mites removed.

Nick Aliano from here did his Masters thesis on it and concluded that it is a much more complex thing than just sugar.  Efficacy has to do with bee density, heat etc.  With the right density and temperatures you can get as high as 90% of them, but that takes removing them all from the hive and putting them in a cage to control all the factors.
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Offline BMAC

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2007, 10:11:49 AM »
I believe the sugar shake will come in handy this coming year.  When I go to make my splits I am going to shake some bees into some empty packages I have laying around and give them a good sugar shake or maybe even two good sugar shakes before I put them in their new home.  I am getting ready to replace the screen material with the SBB hardware cloth.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Wintering in the shelter
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2007, 09:35:23 PM »
The thing I like about sugar shakes is that it a method of control that, although it doesn't eliminate mites, can keep the population of the parasites low enough that the bees have a fairly good chance of developing a resistence to the mite. 

Practicing population control on the mites by doing periodic sugar shakes or a series of sugar shakes is, to my mind, the best way to deal with the critter.  After all, they are here to stay so we need to admit that and develop a game plan for co-existing with them.  Sugar shakes give us that opportunity.
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