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Author Topic: Freezing Temps, Feeding a Swarm?  (Read 1343 times)
tillie
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« on: April 06, 2009, 09:43:20 PM »

I collected a swarm today - really small - probably a virgin queen, second swarm from a hive, etc.  I put them in a medium nuc.  There's some honey stored in the frames in the nuc, but little else and it's going to be highs in the 40s tomorrow.  Should I put a baggie feeder in with them? 

I'm not feeding any of my bees right now - the tulip poplar flow started over the weekend and we are in high gear for nectar around here albeit the freezing weather for the next couple of days.

So should I feed this swarm?

Linda T in Atlanta
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 10:40:33 PM »

If there is as much as 1 cup of honey in there, I wouldn't feed until the cold snap is over. They can live a week on 1 cup. The sugar water may give them too much moisture at a time they cannot evaporate it.
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 11:16:59 PM »

There's about half a frame full of honey in there - so I'll leave them alone - it should be flying temperature again on Thursday.

Linda T
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 11:42:47 PM »

How exciting Linda to catch yet another swarm.  How many hives do you have at the moment???
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 06:59:35 AM »

Linda, I'm in pretty much the same position you're in.  Collected a swarm and the weather turned bad before I even got home with it.  This sure would be a lot easier if the weather would just cooperate.
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JayC
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 09:31:44 AM »

Highs in the 40's, but the lows are in the Huh

Being from Cleveland, I had to chuckle at you referring to the 40's as "freezing" temps. 
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 09:57:36 AM »

If we only had 40's today eh JayC shocked!
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 04:24:09 PM »

Highs in the 40's, but the lows are in the Huh

Being from Cleveland, I had to chuckle at you referring to the 40's as "freezing" temps. 

Heh, well my blood runs red, not antifreeze green.   grin
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tillie
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 05:07:23 PM »

Annette, at the moment I have four hives on my deck and two at Blue Heron.  I will hope to add another swarm if I'm lucky enough to get another call. 

Otherwise I'm sticking to this until the middle of the summer and then I'm doing splits like Ross Conrad and Kim Flottum each individually mentioned at Young Harris as a way to control varroa for the fall by interrupting the brood cycle. 

So then I'll both increase the number of hives and help with the mite issue (although I see very few mites anymore).  I did see one on the back of one of the bees as I collected the swarm.

Linda T in Atlanta
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2009, 06:33:24 PM »

Wow, I have not ventured into that avenue yet.  Doing splits in the middle of summer. I would end up with way to many hives. Although I guess I could combine them back together again.

I have to read up on all this.  You are making me think now.

Good luck with the swarms

Sincerely
Annette
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JayC
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2009, 10:28:22 AM »

You may or may not consider the 40's balmy, but it's still good and above freezing, so I think a baggie feeder would work fine.  As long as it's not getting much below 32 at night.  Even then, the sugar in the syrup will lower the freezing point, and the bees clustering around will keep the temp up, so it'd have to get darn cold before a baggie feeder wouldn't work in the situation you're describing.
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tillie
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2009, 12:19:39 PM »

Quote
Highs in the 40's, but the lows are in the Huh

OK, OK, I know being in the south we have it good, but the lows were in the high 20s, low 30s for the last two nights. 

It's fun to keep a record - looking back I can see that somewhere around April 5 -9 every year I've kept bees, we've had a couple of nights of 20 something degree weather with highs in the 40s and we keep being surprised!  This is why the safe tomato planting date in Atlanta is April 15.

Linda T in Atlanta
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2009, 09:03:37 PM »

Well, we got lucky here in TN, the freeze was much lighter and didn't kill any flowers.  My swarm came through it just fine, how'd yours do?
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rast
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2009, 09:09:33 PM »

 How about 31 this morning at my house in central Fl.
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tillie
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2009, 11:01:51 PM »

I looked in when I got home today (temp:  62) and the bees were orienting and working hard in the bottom box of the medium nuc.  I put in a frame of honey just in case, but I think they'll be fine.  The queen still probably has to go on a mating flight if it were a secondary swarm, as I think it was.  We'll see.

I put them in a medium nuc box from Brushy Mountain (it has two stories).  The bottom box was a failed walk away split so it had three drawn out brood frames and two that had held honey and pollen.  Since they were already drawn out, I went ahead and put frames in the upper box - the one with honey that I put in today and four foundationless frames.  We'll see how they do.

I don't know when to move this swarm to a hive box rather than a nuc.  They were so small that I imagine they'll be fine in the nuc for a month or so.

Linda T
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