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Author Topic: Putting them to bed for the season  (Read 1811 times)
Kris^
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« on: December 12, 2004, 04:41:52 PM »

Well, today was the day I put the lock on the hive -- to keep me out.  At least for the next month and a half.  The forcasts are calling for the start of real winter weather -- FINALLY -- so I winterized.  I removed the remaining syrup bottle and replaced the empty super containing my bottle contraption with the 30 pound sugar board I made last month.  There's a good population of bees in there, because when I put my grease patty between the brood boxes, each box seemed close to full with workers.  Then I taped 3/4" styrofoam on top of the sugar board and across the back and two sides of the hive, and wrapped black builder's paper around the whole thing, cutting out holes for the lower and upper entrances, of course. It was interesting watching groups of bees come to the edge of the upper entrance, stick their heads out, look around at the blackness, and go back in, to be replaced by others doing the same.

The colony is strong going into winter, with 1 1/2 supers of syrup and a sugar board of food.  I hope my efforts at late season feeding were worthwhile, and that the colony survives into spring.  I'd certainly like to split early at least once and get a super of comb honey draw like golfpsycho suggested last May, if I can.

I'm thinking of ordering two packages of Russian hybrids from Draper's to hive along with my (hopefully to be two or three) Italian hives this coming spring.  Anyone have experience with this race, or keepeing these different races together in the same beeyard?  

-- Kris
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2004, 09:56:27 PM »

Remember Kris.  A cutdown split is different from a walkaway.  You need a big strong colony, and a heavy nectar flow to make comb honey.  It's not an early spring device to get two colonys, although that is the end result.  Your basically putting all the field bees in a restricted size colony to force them into the comb super with no brood to feed.  The other half of the split will be a little slow to get on it's feet.  It will have the queen, plenty of nurse bees, but no foragers.  Section honey is just so visually pleasing, and a real challenge to do well.  Everyone needs to try it once.
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Finman
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2004, 03:22:41 AM »

I put my bees in the bed 3 months ago. Look at my sceneries:
http://www.tiehallinto.fi/alk/english/frames/kelikamerat-frame.html

Is that your home home place?

http://weather.addresses.com/weather_by_city/Williamstown,NJ.html


I wonder you feed your bees so late and with "primitive manner". I used bottle feeding 40 years ago for winter. You must get better system.

THE WEATHER: You have in the hive brood and young bees.  Bees can come out and can return when temperature is  45F.   If  it is 32 F, most of bees cannot return into hive, and little by little colony will be destroyed.

****

MIXING RACES: Young queens fly outside their own drone territory
 in order to avoid incest . You need not to worry about mixing "blood" because you are not the only beekeeper in your area? Queen flyes over 5 km distance to copulate.

Do'nt be so hasty to divide your hive. It may ruin your honey yield.
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2004, 04:09:20 PM »

Kris:

Good luck and since we have about the same weather, I'll have a good idea how we both make out over the Winter. These cool days mixed with cold days are always tough to judge - a long cool Spring though I think is the real killer. For now, there is plenty of food, but come March and April if it's still cold the survivability of the hive drastically changes. I think it is always better for a fast change, one that stays changed.

Again, good luck to everyone, I hope all are hives beat the weather and everything else that nature tosses at us. It's not a very promising hobby at times, but seeing your bees flying in the early Spring is one of lifes real pleasures Smiley
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Kris^
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2004, 08:28:21 PM »

Quote from: golfpsycho
Remember Kris.  A cutdown split is different from a walkaway.  


Oh no -- more terminology I'm unfamiliar with!    Cheesy   What are the differences in splits?  And after I take away the super with the queen and nurse bees, do I have to put an excluder between the super with foragers and cut comb super right away?  The workers would take 18 days to raise a new queen, so it seems I wouldn't have to ensure the quen stays out for about 2 weeks because there wouldn't be a queen there.

Speaking of bees being crowded, I peeked through the upper entrance and saw that it was almost all blocked with bees. (You knew I cou;dn't leave them alone 'til February!!!)  The temperature was at 32 degrees fahrenheit, and the sugar board is directly above the entrance shim.  Is this okay for them?

 

Quote from: Finman

Is that your home home place?

http://weather.addresses.com/weather_by_city/Williamstown,NJ.html

I wonder you feed your bees so late and with "primitive manner". I used bottle feeding 40 years ago for winter. You must get better system.


Yep, that's my area.  We're just having our first run of days in the 30s.  The late feeding is not what I planned; see my previous posts on the subject.  And I am going to use a different feeding system next year.  The bottle system gives me a lot of trouble, so I'm planning to build a Miller-type feeder for next year.  Or several feeders, since I hope to be nursing multiple hives.    Smiley

-- Kris
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