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Author Topic: CHECK YOUR BEES!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 1915 times)
gmcharlie
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« on: February 26, 2009, 09:10:45 AM »

Just looked in on mine  after our latest cold snap....  WE are 2-3 weeks from pollen here...  My best hive last year is totaly EMPTY of food.....  no honey to be found...  which means they went thru 210 lbs (I weighed)    Don't let them starve in the last cpl weeks
I happened to be lucky,  I threw pollen patties on 2-1  and went to check yesterday...  this hive was the only one to finish 2 patties in 3 weeks  which made me dig deeper despite a bit of chill in the air.....

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BeeHopper
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 09:45:09 AM »

Just looked in on mine  after our latest cold snap....  WE are 2-3 weeks from pollen here...  My best hive last year is totaly EMPTY of food.....  no honey to be found...  which means they went thru 210 lbs (I weighed)    Don't let them starve in the last cpl weeks
I happened to be lucky,  I threw pollen patties on 2-1  and went to check yesterday...  this hive was the only one to finish 2 patties in 3 weeks  which made me dig deeper despite a bit of chill in the air.....



210 Lbs.  shocked   They must have been robbed out !
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Two Bees
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 09:47:18 AM »

That is a lot of honey!  Most hives can winter with 70-90 pounds depending upon the location and winter weather.
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Shawn
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 11:20:13 AM »

I had put sugar in the top of mine, between the innder lid and frames. I opened it up yesterday to feed some nice warm syurp and saw the bees were really going after the sugar, still had quite a bit left. I pulled a frame or two and saw the caps were a grayish color  huh Hopefully that is ok. Bees looked good however I did not see any brood in the top deep, meaning no eggs or anything. It almost looked like they had been cleaned out. There were no bees on the frame that once had the brood.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 12:00:39 PM »



210 Lbs.  shocked   They must have been robbed out !
[/quote]

Nope  just huge hive going into winter.  thought a lot about splitting them,  but decided that a fall split would be bad. (and too late for a queen) I assumed a huge die off quickly to make it managable.....  didn't happen....  there are still 3 times more bees in that box than in my other hives...

Made me wonder about optimum size for a cluster.  brain says bigger more efficient,  but as an engineer I realize thats not true.  bigger means more exposed area which takes more to heat.....  ahhh  but where is the balance and how do we decide......
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 12:12:05 PM »

happened to some of us in the PNW last year.  cold and wet spring and no stores.  i caught mine just in time, but it was a close thing. 
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 02:12:31 PM »

Does that 210 lbs. include the weight of the boxes or did you tare those out?
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 04:27:42 PM »

If you want efficient,  switch to polystyrene hives.  They seem to keep ~10F warmer and use 1/3 to 1/2 the stores as my wood hives.


With that kind of consumption you better add a few more upper entrance Wink
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 05:46:31 PM »

Laughing about teh upper entrance...  actually  that hive was a june 1 package and in addition to the honey I left I also got 1 and 1/2 med supers from it....  that queen produced so many workers it was wild......  She is the one I plane to raise new queens from.......

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Natalie
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2009, 06:45:27 PM »

What race?
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mat
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 06:55:49 PM »

On how many suppers have you wintered your hive? If you left them 210# of honey it must be four deeps. Or it is the weight of whole hive?
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 08:55:29 AM »

Italians from Drapers.  great packages!.....  this one did fabulous  I had bought 2 packages from them  the other also did well,  I po-po it as compared to this one but when I look at it compared to a normal late start hive  it did fine.

That is complete hive  Box and all.   Sombody mentione Tare on the box....  I tried,  but every time I got close to getting all the bees in the air,  another one would land and I had to start over..... grin

2 deeps,  VERY honeybound...  down to one and a half frames of brood in OCT....    made me nervous,  my thought was then that a fall die off would reduce teh cluster to normal and I would have a bunch of full frames to use for nucs this spring.    Once again they outsmarted me...  but hey  I have a great starting colony for poliniation.

One thing thats  interesting is that this hive  despite pollen patties and great consumption,  has no brood patch yet.   I don't know if its because of the stress on the hive or?  I didn't locate the queen (too cold to spend the time)  but assume if she was gone they would have stareted some queen cells.
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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 09:12:32 AM »

When more experienced beeks give a wieght of 70-90 lbs for winter honey, is that boxes, frames, and all?  Or have you weighed your equipment previously?
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Stephen Stewart
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mat
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2009, 10:19:27 AM »

Ten frame deep full of honey weighs about 90# and contains about 60# of honey. So if if go into winter with two deeps: upper full of honey and lower with some honey and pollen you should be safe.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2009, 12:37:24 PM »

deeps normaly weigh about 27 lbs empty...  add a base and your right at 30lbs......   I don't estimite.  I throw them on a scale.  Gestimating is difficult with brood and such  and unfilled frames.......  a scale never lies...  so going in this have had right at 150lbs of total honey.....   which as I mentioned is about twice normal....    I weigh the whole hive,  its a lot simpler than the options,  I put in a entrance cleat and set it on a scale complete...(yes I am a big boy)  this one made me grunt.......  which was why it caught my so much..   a normal hive at 130 or so its not an issue for me...(no wise cracks about age needed)   as I said    this one was wierd.....  I am thinking I should have cut it down before winter......  I assumed mother nature would do that for me....  I am wishing I had done a split,  but if I had the queen would have probably been worthless that late in the year.....  it was late oct when I did my fall prep.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2009, 05:54:28 PM »

One thing thats  interesting is that this hive  despite pollen patties and great consumption,  has no brood patch yet.   I don't know if its because of the stress on the hive or?  I didn't locate the queen (too cold to spend the time)  but assume if she was gone they would have stareted some queen cells.

If you lost the queen during cluster or before she started laying their would be not brood from which to develop a queen.  Also, when bees are in the low brood production stage of winter cluster there often isn't enough brood of the right age to make a queen from.  The fall bees, being longer lived will still give a substancial mass to a colony whose population dwindle might not be noted for another month or so.  I'd recheck the hive and maybe slide in a partial frame of brood from another hive (if available) and see if you can either fire up the queen or if the hive builds queen cells.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2009, 08:19:08 PM »

well we are 2 weeks or so from our maples and such budding..  she may be gone,  or delayed due to food stocks....  I am going to check again and search for her when we get some warm weather,  been highs in the 40's  so a bit cold for me to move any brood around yet.    If shes gone,  then i am going to split up the remaing stock in existing hives for fruit tree polination  and then cut those hives down with splits as soon as I can get some additional queens
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