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Author Topic: my bees are alive (so far)  (Read 3067 times)

Offline Archie

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my bees are alive (so far)
« on: February 01, 2005, 02:56:27 PM »
Hi,

it is 1:45 pm on Tuesday, February 1 and the tempature in the sun is up to 40 to 45 degrees F.  I have five hives, 2 were very week last fall.  but today, there are bees taking clensing flights from all 5 hives.  I'm as happy as a pig in mud.  

now I have a question.  is it too early to start feeding 1:1 syrup?  any and all ideas are wanted and appriciated.

Happy Archie      :D
Honey, Vermont sunshine in a bottle.

Offline Jay

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2005, 06:29:24 PM »
Have you hefted your hives lately? How much do they weigh? Are all the honey stores gone yet? You shouldn't need to feed unless all the honey stores have been depleted. And if it's too cold, they probablly won't make the trip up to the feeder.
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Offline beemaster

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2005, 06:43:14 PM »
It made it to 38 today... I hefted the two colonies and both still doing very good!!!

Then, two workers came flying out of the hive toward me, only to drop out of the sky after a great attempt to check me out. I found a few others on the sidewalk near a foot tall pile of snow off at the side, I picked one up and stuck her on the dashboard in my car - about 20 minutes later when I went into the car to drive to the food store, she was gone - I assume flew out the open door while I was sitting down.

Odd time of year, we all know the 45 degree rule, but then we see an occasional worker beating the odds, or at least trying to. I'm happy with the weight of the hives so far, it was a brutal 3 week stretch here, but this week's forecast looks much warmer, I expect a cleansing flight in the days ahead.
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Offline buzz

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2005, 06:46:19 PM »
It's 45 here today, so mine have been out taking cleansing flights. Man, the ground in front of my hive is covered with bees. Is this normal?
Scott
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Offline beemaster

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2005, 07:02:28 PM »
Very normal Buzz - a quick temp change or a windchill and they will drop like flies, literally. I know what looks like a lot of bees might only be a few dozen, but I'm with you - every lost bee is shame.

As the chill down, the just collapse dormant and cannot move until warmed above that 45F temp - of course a warm spot without wind usually buys them enough time to get back in the hive.

If you got them early enough, you can pick them up, place them in a jar - take them in the house to warm up and then release them at the entrance after they warm up.

They'll have enough time to get back to the cluster hopefully, but seeing dozens around after a cleansing flight or just a flurry of activity is pretty normal and nothing to be affraid of.
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Offline Archie

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2005, 08:12:02 PM »
hi,

hefting the hives is a good idea.  I'll my neighbor up tomorrow afternoon.  6 weeks ago I had heart by pass surgery and I am still not able to pick up much over 5 pounds, so my pal next door likes my bees and he is a lot younger than me.

thanks for the info

Archie
Honey, Vermont sunshine in a bottle.

Anonymous

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2005, 09:50:32 PM »
Every sunny day we have had in the last 3 weeks and the temps got over 14f my carnolinas were flying, the Italians are hanging out on the landing board. Some are making the flight and not making it back. We have had temps in the High 30F for the last 4 days and the girls were buzzing all about. This morning I found a half dozen 500 yards from the hive on the path the dogs and I run every morning and evening.
I talked to a bee keeper of 40 years who lives near me today. He said it is commom what is happening. He also said just what john said, place them in a jar warm them and let them go at the entrance. He said of course you need tar paper wrapped hives or dark colored ones to have them out on cold days Like mine have been.
We also comfirmed 7 new colonies for me and a new bee yard.
 :D Al

Offline Horns Pure Honey

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2005, 11:37:50 PM »
that is sweet trail twister, hope you can get good pics, bye
Ryan Horn

Offline asleitch

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 04:29:47 AM »
I popped the cover boards on my hives, to take a peek. 1 out of 6 had died, a particularly small colony which I combined with another weak colony in the autumn. I'm not surprised it didn't make it. All the others had hit the top board so I've started feeding suger candy. Although it's always recommended not to pop the cover, I just pried it up a little and looked underneath. Seeing that all the colonies had worked up through their stores and hit the top board, it was a worthwhile check as it confirmed the need to get some candy on.

As with all things it's a balance, I think finding they were running out of stores, and hence feeding the candy, was well worthwhile and you can do the check in seconds.

Adam

Offline Kris^

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my bees are alive (so far)
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 10:17:53 PM »
I gave my hive a little lift today (actually, a "tip") and it seemed still fairly heavy.  As soon as I let it down, though, a big wad of bees came out the upper entrance to see what was happening.  They've been hanging out on the top frames on these warm 40 degree days, going after the sugar board I installed in December.  But they go back down into the frames when the nights turn cold.  I guess that's a good sign the cluster is still lower in the brood box?

-- Kris