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Author Topic: 2 hives dead, 2 alive  (Read 4753 times)
Angi_H
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2007, 01:11:15 AM »

YOu have a Screened BB did you not put the slide back in the BB. If you didnt you wouldnt be able to keep the hive warm. As all of the cold air would have traveled up through the hive. I would also think that they had way to much space to keep them warm with 2 supers of honey on top of there space that is a big amount for 4 frames of bees to keep warm.

What I have been reading in the books is when you are getting ready to winter the hives. Place the board back on the screened BB to keep the heat in and the wind out. As well as only have 2 hive bodys if it is 2 deeps or 3 med. No more otherwise they might get chilled and die because it is to much space for them to keep warm. Did you wrap the hives?  I am still learning here so I am trying to figure it out from what I have read and learned here so I know for next winter.

Angi
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2007, 07:30:41 AM »

one of my hives which is still going strong went through last winter without the plastic slide in the SBB so I don't think that was the problem. But having said that I plan to put the board in the other 2 hives just to eliminate that as a possibility. And the same is true of the hive box arrangement. With the weather being so changeable I would think that the more honey available the better. I think I should have moved it around some on those warmer days. I think that is where I mismanaged.
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Cindi
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2007, 11:17:36 AM »

So this still has me confused. I thought they know not to make brood when it is so cold. Don't they know they will be stuck caring for this brood and not be able to get to the food???
What do they do in the wild?? Do they place the honey all around them in the brood chamber??? This still has me worried as most of the honey left for them is up above in the top super. There were some frames of honey down below, but not much.
I checked on them 2 weeks ago, when we had a warmer day and they still had a whole super full of honey right above them. They were not clustering at that time, they were flying out like crazy.
With the weather this cold right now, it is impossible to open up the hive and do anything. I never heard that I would have to move frames of honey around in the winter. I only knew that I would have to add some frames from my freezer if I looked inside and could not see any more honey on top.
So still confused!!! I am reading and trying to learn what is going on here.
Annette

Annette, I know, trying to understand the bees is so confusing.  I am still trying to "get it", and I have tried to learn lots.

The bees when it has been warmed a bit, like you had experienced, may have began to raise a little brood, they can't see into the future that it may get really cold suddenly, they live for the day.  That is my gist of them.  Could be right, could be wrong.

Like Rdy-b was saying, the bees have more of a tendency to move upwards, not sideways.  A larger cluster can more easily move sideways than a smaller cluster.  That is the importance of the bees going into winter strong.  So many people do splits in the fall, I presume they have luck with that, wintering nucs, I have read about it all the time.

Unless my mind can be changed, I would far sooner (in my climate anyways), do the splitting in the spring, when weather is warmer and bees have an easier chance of looking after themselves in smaller colonies.  I will always have a quest to go into winter with the biggest colonies I can convince my bees to raise.

Annette, your bees have clustered and unclustered.  They probably have moved lots of honey close to their cluster.  You must not be so worried, and only way to say it, time will only be the teller of the tale of the winter success.  I know that is easy to say, but had to say it.  You have gone into winter with lots of stores, I remember you saying that.  For that safety net, why don't you put some dry sugar on the inner cover (if you have a hole in the inner cover) if this could alleviate some stress for you.  If not, let the bees be bees.  It seems to me that you have a pretty short cold period where you live and the bees will soon be breaking cluster again, moving honey closer to them.  This is my take on this, and I hope that you may feel a little better.  I am not the expert, but these are my thoughts, and I honestly think that things will be OK -- have a wonderful, beautiful day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
annette
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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2007, 01:10:31 PM »

Thank you Cindi.

I think things will be ok for my bees. I would not place sugar on top as they have the honey on top if they can get up there to get it. I was just concerned how something like this could happen when a beekeeper does all the correct things.

But you are correct that they have been clustering and unclustering and probably moving honey around as needed.

Take care and have a wonderful and happy New Years Eve.

Annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2007, 05:11:58 PM »

You may find brood in a hive any time of the year.  NORMALLY they stop in October around here and start back up in January or February for a small batch of brood and then let that batch emerge before starting another.  By the first of March they are seriously raising brood.  Here, we could have sub zero weather in April on rare occasions and it would not even be strange to have it in March.  I don't think you'll have any problems with them stuck on brood in your part of the world (Placerville, CA).
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Michael Bush
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rdy-b
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« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2007, 06:05:00 PM »

<And the same is true of the hive box arrangement. With the weather being so changeable I would think that the more honey available the better. I think I should have moved it around some on those warmer days. I think that is where I mismanaged.>                                                                                                                              RANDY- four frames can only consume so much honey give them a space they can regulate the temps better - small bees- small box- anyway keep an eye on the rest best of luck RDY-B
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annette
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2007, 11:11:39 AM »

Thank you Michael for that info.

Also, I am reading what RDy-B is saying and managing the room seems very important also.

This clears up a lot for me. Hope all is well for you now Randy.

Annette
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2007, 12:50:44 PM »

i went through the stages and have arrived at acceptance. so all is well. nice out today and i plan to disturb my other 2 hives. the next few days are going to be single digits to teens at night and 20's-30's during the day with some snow and wind.

I just finished looking at my other 2 hives. Its around 50 degrees, sunny, with hardly any wind.
The first one I looked at the cluster was in the top box which was almost empty of honey. the box below it was full of stores so I switched the 2 boxes thinking that the cluster will move up. They were somewhat active.
The second hive I looked at is my only >1 year old hive....this is its 2nd winter. This hive has been historically an aggressive bunch. They haven't changed. I got stung through the veil on my nose. This is the first time I was using this bee jacket so I will remember to keep the veil away from my face in the future. This cluster was also in the top box which still had stores. the bottom box was completely empty. I put the top box on the bottom and took away the bottom box. I then replaced the top box with a very heavy deep from one of my dead hives. The entrances are reduced to the smallest opening and I put those corrugated plastic inserts under the SBB. I expect to find them in the woods after they blow out. Maybe some duck tape would help.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 03:24:46 PM by randydrivesabus » Logged
CBEE
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« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2008, 09:48:44 AM »

Randy I cant help thinking the way your post subject reads. It sounds like a headline out of the ole west. SHOOT OUT AT THE O BEE CORRAL ! 2 DEAD 2 ALIVE  grin
I think your weather is a lot like mine in the winter. Mine is sort of in between and the winter temps  fluctuate alot. we get 3 or 4 days of 32 and below and then 3 or 4 days of 40's and 50's. That may be harder on the bees than a consistant cold or warm temp. I wonder if when the day gets warm enough for them to break cluster and the next day the temp drops below freezing they may cluster where there is no honey. Then the temp stays cold long enough for them to starve because they dont move to where its at Huh?
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DrKurtG
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2008, 03:36:36 PM »

Hey Randy, sorry to read about your bees. Since I live quite close to you, I'm worried about my hive. The temperatures plumetted to around 10 degrees F last night. I hope that didn't catch the bees off-guard. Once it warms up a bit, I'll go out and check.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2008, 04:59:34 PM »

from what i've read it will be well into the 50's in just 3 or 4 days. good luck.
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DrKurtG
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« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2008, 05:43:52 PM »

Yep. The other item that caught my eye within these posts are the comments about reducing the entrance. The person who is helping me, 40 years experience, has me leaving my entrances open to reduce condensation. Could that be the source of your troubles?
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #32 on: January 02, 2008, 07:04:03 PM »

well...the entrances on the dead hives were both unreduced. the entrances on the 2 living hives are reduced.
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Old Timer
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2008, 02:47:44 PM »

I would think that that hive died well before you looked in it. Since you still had brood which had not emerged I would think the hive dies around or before December 1rst. Probably due to varroa or tracheal mites. There was not enough bees to keep the cluster or brood warm so they probably froze because of it. Any activity that you've see was bees robbing the stores out.
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