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Author Topic: Wintering a TBH vs Langstroth?  (Read 3481 times)
jeremy_c
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« on: June 15, 2009, 09:40:16 AM »

I have heard that several local colonies died this winter in Ohio due to a bad cold snap this past winter that left the bees unable to move over to another frame for more food. Thus, they starved even though they had plenty of food. I am wondering about how a TBH winters vs. a Langstroth hive. What can be done to prevent this? Winter has become my biggest fear. One local beek lost 75 of 80 hives this winter and all 75 hives had plenty of food.

Jeremy
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Hethen57
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 02:46:11 PM »

This seems to be the million dollar question... shocked
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RyanB
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 03:44:47 PM »

Short of providing heat, or enough insulation to keep some heat in... Dunno.   As far as the TBH is concerned, you want to make sure that going into winter the brood nest is at one end or the other so they can move in one direction in the hive.
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Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 07:45:11 PM »

Well, I've heard of putting in a 15W light at the bottom of the hive to aid in thermal survival and reduce winter consumption rate.  But that kind of goes against the spirit of KTBH simplicity. Takes a long extension cord, too.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 08:40:04 PM »

You have the same issues plus one.  The new one is that they need to start the winter at one end or the other so they can work their way to the other end.  If the cluster is in the middle, I would move those combs to the back or front.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#winter
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Michael Bush
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 08:55:51 PM »

It would seem to me that bees would naturally be able to move up the comb better than side to side? i.e. if the ones on the bottom were to move up to the top, the whole cluster could move w/o leaving the cluster. However, side to side that's impossible. Now, do they do that? I have no clue, I'm a first year beek, but if I were a bee, that's what I'd do grin

So, is it harder for bees to winter successfully in a horizontal based hive than a vertically based hive? That's my real question I guess.

Jeremy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 09:26:03 PM »

>So, is it harder for bees to winter successfully in a horizontal based hive than a vertically based hive? That's my real question I guess.

Bees often live in hollow horizontal cavities, both natural and man made.  They survive just fine.  No, I have not had any harder time overwintering top bar hives than regular hives.
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Michael Bush
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mtbe
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 10:13:22 AM »

For wintering, it is suggested that the  bees start at one end of a TBH.  So, going into winter, we would move the bars so the hive is at one end.

If we plan on leaving in the honey (to harvest in Spring), how do we move the bees to one end?  Traditionally, the brood is toward the entrance, and the honey in the 'back' of the hive.  Do we bring the honey to the front and move the brood to the back during winter?

Or do we just make sure the bees are closest to the honey (keep the honey toward the back)?

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 01:41:21 PM »

>If we plan on leaving in the honey (to harvest in Spring), how do we move the bees to one end?

Note which end they are closest to and remove the bars at that end and slide the ones with the bees clustered on them to that end.  Put the onese you removed that are empty at the opposite end and the ones that are full of honey so that all the stores are together and adjacent to the bees or each other.

> Traditionally, the brood is toward the entrance, and the honey in the 'back' of the hive.

Not necessarily, but that's fine.

> Do we bring the honey to the front and move the brood to the back during winter?

That's fine.  Or leave them at the front.  The point is that they aren't in the middle so that they don't work their way to the front or back leaving honey behind them that they don't find when they are immobile from the cold.

>Or do we just make sure the bees are closest to the honey (keep the honey toward the back)?

Yes, make sure the bees are adjacent to the honey.
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Michael Bush
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bigbearomaha
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 09:17:13 PM »

based on what I have learned thus far about TBH, one could keep all the brood to one end, no empty bars and place their winter stores immediately after, again, leaving no empty bars, all snug together.  Then place the read board following the stores to keep it all tight. no open spaces to have to try to keep warm.

I will get my TBH experience starting this spring, so this is all theory and conjecture for me at the moment.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 04:38:38 PM »

>based on what I have learned thus far about TBH, one could keep all the brood to one end, no empty bars and place their winter stores immediately after, again, leaving no empty bars, all snug together.  Then place the read board following the stores to keep it all tight. no open spaces to have to try to keep warm.

Perfect.
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Michael Bush
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2009, 08:56:07 AM »

Well, I've heard of putting in a 15W light at the bottom of the hive to aid in thermal survival and reduce winter consumption rate.  But that kind of goes against the spirit of KTBH simplicity. Takes a long extension cord, too.

15 W heat source is too much.  It may too keep winter cluster open. In Finland I have used 3 W and in upper part of hive. It adds cluster heat source but doe not spoil they clustering.

15W is good in spring brooding.

When hive i slong, bees star wintereing there where they have last brood.  If they are in middle, they start to eate to some direction and if food is finish, they do not know where they have more.

So even in Langstroth cluster may die on upper box and lower box has 15 kg food.

.

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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2009, 01:01:22 PM »

In a langstroth, does the honey always need to be above the brood/cluster?  I have a nuc (4 boxes high) with a top entrance.  Most of the stores are in the bottom.  Should I invert?
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Stephen Stewart
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 02:59:27 AM »

In a langstroth, does the honey always need to be above the brood/cluster?  I have a nuc (4 boxes high) with a top entrance.  Most of the stores are in the bottom.  Should I invert?

Put capped frames and brood in one box and shake all bees in front of hive. Look if they go all inside.
I think so. It is certainly sure that you have too much boxes.

If you see pollen frames, opuyt them into order.

- on sides even foundation or white combs
- capped food
- pollen frame
- brood
- brood
- pollen
- capped
- foundation


If 2/3 of frames are not capped, feed 2:1 syrup to the hive.

.


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ArmucheeBee
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 08:19:15 AM »

All the frames are full of Honey or pollen or brood in the nucs.  One nuc is 5 meduims high the other 4.  So should I move them both into 10-frame med. boxes so the honey is right above the brood frames?  I see what you are saying.  The "tower" is too high for the bees to access the honey frames that might be at the top---is that right?
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Stephen Stewart
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2009, 12:13:01 PM »

The "tower" is too high for the bees to access the honey frames that might be at the top---is that right?


Too much high means that bees do not need extra room. Clusters heat escapes to empty spaces.

The cluster needs a space which is size of brood area in late summer.

In spring tightened room is more important than in winter.

here is principle of wintering. according size of the colony. Extra space away.
15 W terrarium heater was aiding in empty part.



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