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Author Topic: Uh oh! Winter is here...  (Read 3279 times)
mellifera
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« on: October 27, 2004, 04:14:34 PM »

Hello All-

Three weeks ago, I put Apistan strips in the hive and drove to the Midwest and back for a visit to the In-Laws. Last year at this time it was still somewhat warm, so my plan was to remove the strips the week after we returned and finish readying the hive for Winter.
Well.. It snowed yesterday and is currently (at 1:00 in the afternoon), 37 degrees fahrenheit. It will probably warm up again - but not very warm.
What is the lowest temperature that is safe to remove the strips. I sure don't want to leave them in and create Apistan resistant mites, but I don't want to kill the bees with too much cold either.

Any ideas??

Thanks-

Melissa
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Sting
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2004, 04:46:25 PM »

As a beekeeper in a cold climate, my advice would be to first check the weather forecasts for the next five days or so and pick the warmest day to take out the Apistan strips.  Then, and I'm assuming they are on the top bars of your hive, remove the strips quickly.  The bees will be fine.  Good luck.
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2004, 07:34:25 PM »

Follow Sting's advice.  Pick the nicest day (hopefully with no wind), and be as quick as possible.  Since you know approximately where they are, just split the hive on one side (hinge it on the other)  just enough to reach in and remove the strips quickly.  No need to unstack the hive and expose the bees more than you have too.

I have installed package bees in a snow storm, and they all survived. As long as your quick about it, the bees can stand a little cold.  It is brood that can't, but you probably have none to worry about now anyway.
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Finman
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2004, 04:40:40 AM »

Quote from: mellifera
Hello All-

Three weeks ago, I put Apistan strips in the hive and drove to the Midwest and back for a visit to the In-Laws. Last year at this time it was still somewhat warm, so my plan was to remove the strips the week after we returned and finish readying the hive for Winter.
Well.. It snowed yesterday and is currently (at 1:00 in the afternoon), 37 degrees fahrenheit.
Melissa


You can take strips away. Give a little bit smoke so bees do not rise on their wings.  Do not smoke the ball but when you pull the stips, they may attack. Give smoke to air which is above ball.  If they are calm, do not give any smoke.

Keep the ceiling uppside down so bees do not drop to ground. If you loose 100 - 200 bees, it is not big problem. During winter they will die a plenty.

I have also duty to give next week to all hives oxalic acid and temperature is somewhat the same.
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mellifera
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2004, 02:55:05 AM »

Thank you for your responses. It does sound easy to quickly open the lid, pull out the strips and close it up. I wish that this was all that I needed to do.

Well. I have to explain that this is my first year and I am learning quite a bit as I go. I read the instructions for the Apistan and followed them. I put the strips in amongst the "brood". This meant that I opened the hive and put the strips down, down, down into the bottom deep. I am a small person and it was suggested that I use shallow supers above the deep, as a deep that is full of honey is too heavy for me to lift. So, unfortunately I need to remove two shallow supers to get down to the Apistan strips. The next "warm" day is Monday, when the temperature is supposed to be around 53 degrees fahrenheit. (We had snow again last night..) If I have to take the hive completely apart - is 53 warm enough to work with them?  I feel bad for the bees, but I don't want to make ALL of the potential mistakes in the first year.  I sure don't want to create mitacide resistant mites on top of all of my other first year errors. (The bees have been forgiving up to this point..) Is it possible to remove the top shallow super and cover it with a tarp or something while I get down to the strips? The suggestion of "hinging" the upper level makes sense with the next layer.

Melissa
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Finman
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2004, 04:26:39 AM »

Quote from: mellifera

Well. I have to explain that this is my first year and I am learning quite a bit as I go. I read the instructions for the Apistan and followed them.


.............I put the strips in amongst the "brood".


The meaning is that brood have have hatched. The yougest bees has those mites  and they are near brood, which is left.


Quote
This meant that I opened the hive and put the strips down, down, down into the bottom deep. A deep that is full of honey is too heavy for me to lift. So, unfortunately I need to remove two shallow supers to get down to the Apistan strips.


You should first take all honey away and put your hive in winter position. I found that you live in California, almost in tropic.   You need not to be worry about your temperatures. - I know that you have frost waves there, but you do not use snow plowers? http://www.codeman.fi/photo/lumilinko.jpg


Quote
I sure don't want to create mitacide resistant mites on top of all of my other first year errors.


 It is not possible for you.  But you can get Elqon bees. They really kill mites and you need not use chemicals or strips.

Quote
Is it possible to remove the top shallow super ...


You should first extract the honey for human consuption, and then you give apiustans. Also you can use organic acids. Apistan is not " permitted  additive" in honey.

Elgon developer Mr ERIK OSTERLUND is USA born but now lives in Sweden?
http://www.beesource.com/pov/osterlund/abjmar2001.htm

I had last summer 3 Elgon -hives and mites are in low level.
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2004, 11:30:07 AM »

Hello Finman, etc.-

Sorry for the delay in responding. My DSL died two days ago and is not fixed yet..

Anyway, back to bees- I am certain that any honey that comes in contact with Apistan is not fit for human consumption. (If you have to handle it while wearing gloves to prevent absorption into the skin, it is probably not safe for injestion either.) I didn't plan to remove any honey this year anyway, as I installed the bees in late May. I have left all of the honey stores for the bees to eat over the winter as we tend to have serious winters up here. The other active beekeeper here used to tend bees in Montana and he said that the practice there is to leave an extra honey super on for the bees. He said that here, he also does the same as our winters are somewhat long. So that's why my setup is one deep and two shallow supers for the Winter.

I must add that many people have misconceptions about California. When I traveled in the UK, many years ago (as those were the days of hitchiking from Youth Hostel to Youth Hostel), most people thought that I couldn't be from California because I wasn't blond and tan. The California that you are familiar with is "Southern California" which is a whole other animal. It is a very large state and has every climate that you can think of. I live over six hours from a beach and probably 15 hours from one that wouldn't cause hypothermia. Where I live is closer to the weather in Idaho than to L.A.

M.
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mellifera
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2004, 11:34:45 AM »

Previous post is not a guest, it's me.

Melissa
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Anonymous
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2004, 04:05:51 PM »

Since you have one deep hive body on the bottom and two shallow supers on the top I would recommend that you retrieve the strips from the deep hive body and put them in the bottom shallow super.
Since you are already experiencing sub freezing weather I believe that you would be better off putting the strips in the bottom super where you are most likely going to get more bee traffic in the weeks that the strips are in. The bees have to come in contact with the strips in order to distribute the miticide throughout the colony. If you had gotten the strips in before the colder weather set in tou could have put the strips in the upper super while there was still a lot of traffic in it.
Be sure to remove them in 42-45 days as per the instructions.
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mellifera
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2004, 01:33:03 AM »

Hello -

We finally had some warmer weather (50's), so I was able to get the apistan strips out of the hive.

I thought that I would share my removal technique with you folks. (you will probably be amused by my beginner's problem solving methods..)
First, I removed the top and the rock on top of it. There were hardly any bees on the inside cover to worry about. I found an assortment of wood pieces and after using the hive tool to pry open the front of the first shallow super (on top of the bottom deep), I began wedging progressively larger pieces of wood at the two front corners. Bees began hanging out at the southern corner of the opening and occasionally came at me, but I had my smoker, so they went back down into the hive. I was able to reach in with my Japanese gardening knife and pull the strips to the front, where I could get a hold of them with my gloved fingers. I got them out pretty quickly and then slowly lowered the supers back down into their original position. It worked well and I was very pleased that I could physically lift the honey supers up so easily, although it was good that no one was there to hear my running dialogue about the whole procedure..

Now I'm ready for Winter!

Melissa
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Anonymous
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2004, 07:36:49 AM »

"Running dialogue" means that you were talking to your bees, not to yourself, right? I'm sure that they were extremely interested in what you had to say.
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mellifera
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2004, 02:24:49 AM »

Of course, I was talking to the bees.. A few seemed quite interested and got close to my veiled head so that they could hear better. This caused me to speak to them even more.
(fortunately, they didn't have to hear me say, "Oh, crap!" this visit.)

M
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