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Author Topic: will my hives make it?  (Read 2483 times)
p51
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« on: July 21, 2009, 09:36:35 PM »

First year keeping bees, purchased one hive in may that got off to a slow start but now they have two deeps full and are very busy,I caught three swarms on my cousins property (the last one on the sixth of July) cut three out of trees the road commission was going to spray to widen a road and I have two trap outs going now that I think will be ready to bring home in another week or so,my property is surrounded by three hundred acres of soybeans and tons of goldenrod do you think the bees will be able to store enough to get through the winter? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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dragonfly
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 12:16:45 AM »

I would just keep an eye on their food stores, and feed  in the fall (or before) if needed. Are you monitoring for mites? I've never lost a hive from starvation, but I have lost hives from varroa infestations.
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David Stokely
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 01:15:40 AM »

To answer your question of whether they will be able to store enough for the winter, with 2 full deeps full already in the middle of July and in what you describe as a good goldenrod area, I don't think there's a question that they will have enough stores.  I think in fact that I would not hesitate to take a little honey for yourself without hurting them any.  You're only about an hour and a half north of me and with the goldenrod bloom, if there's nothing else, that should keep them going for maybe a month to six weeks with plenty of nectar and with the especially good protein rich pollen that goldenrod has.
 
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 07:26:52 AM »

Hm, I must have been misinformed or misunderstood, but some of my hives have 2 deeps plus a medium super. I was told that they need the two deeps and the medium super? Are you saying that there is enough honey in just the 2 deeps to supply them through the winter? How many deep frames full of honey is actually needed for an average sized Italian colony? (I know this is dependent upon region and the severity of winter, but there has to be some general rules?)

Thanks,

Jeremy
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GaryMinckler
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 09:43:39 AM »

In northern New England last winter I had one deep and two mediums and this spring every bit of honey stored was gone. A long cold winter. I should have been feeding about a month before it got warm enough to open the hives this spring.
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David Stokely
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 11:49:16 AM »

P51 said he is in an area with "tons of goldenrod".  That will usually bloom until hard frost.  Goldenrod bloom is beginning right now, so he's got roughly 8-10 weeks of goldenrod bloom ahead of him.  With 2 deep supers full already and quite likely 10 weeks of flow from goldenrod ahead of him, if it were me, I wouldn't feel uncomfortable taking at least a couple of frames of honey from the lower supers and extracting them and let the bees fill them back up (and an additional medium if desired) with the goldenrod honey which isn't so good to eat as what is probably there now.

Just my thoughts. . .
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p51
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 01:22:50 PM »

the hives I'm concerned about are the swarms I caught late in the season and the trap outs that I haven't brought home yet, just added second deep to all the swarms about a week ago and they are all drawing comb in the second boxes I added,all have queens,brood,eggs in lower boxes. should I think about combining any of these or just let them go and keep a close eye on them?
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riverrat
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009, 01:26:30 PM »

with the goldenrod honey which isn't so good to eat as what is probably there now.

Just my thoughts. . .

I got people that love golden rod honey but we dont get much of a flow from it here
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p51
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009, 07:40:46 PM »

I would just keep an eye on their food stores, and feed  in the fall (or before) if needed. Are you monitoring for mites? I've never lost a hive from starvation, but I have lost hives from varroa infestations.
yes I am monitoring for mites, 3 day natural fall mite count. dusting with powdered sugar once a month both sides of frames, avg. 3 mites per day, is that normal?
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2009, 08:01:51 PM »

last year I left a full med of honey for the bees, they didn't even touch half of it and they still died out. It was just too darn cold for too long. Thats my claim anyway. I figure the bees will back fill there brood area, and with additional feeding till it gets too cold to feed syrup they would or should have more than enough to get by for three months. First warm day start to feed.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2009, 10:08:35 PM »

For the most part I have not found anyplace in the USA, including Alaska, that needs more than 2 deeps full of stores to overwinter. 
If bees die from starvation during the winter it is not from the cold itself but rather from either too long of a period of of cold that doesn't allow the bees to break cluster and bring stores back to it, or there was insufficient stores to begin with.  The third most common cause of bee loss during the winter is moisture condensation where the moisture condenses and rains on the cluster and a quick following freeze kills the bees, ventilation cures this.
I'm not saying bees can't die from lack of stores, even with more then 2 deeps, under severe conditions but that is the exception rather than the rule.

As a prewinter check list you want the bees to have a good crop of winterized (october) brood, backfilled as much of the brood chamber as possible (maybe all but 10-15%) and beginning to build burr comb for additional stores.  2 10 frame deeps with stores and bees should be about 150 lbs. With properly ventilated hives your bees should make it through the winter.  Smaller hives will have smaller clusters but can still be successfully overwintered using similar guidelines, just that the total weight of the combined hive will vary.  A double stacked 5 frame nuc can be successfully overwintered and only weigh 50 lbs when backfilled, burr comb, proper ventilation, and late hatch bees are present.   
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009, 11:15:08 AM »

For the most part I have not found anyplace in the USA, including Alaska, that needs more than 2 deeps full of stores to overwinter.  

2 deeps of pure honey? i.e. 20 full frames of deep comb jam packed with honey? Right now my deeps have honey stores on the outer two frames (avg). So, each deep has 4 frames of honey. So, 2 deeps would give a total of 8 frames of honey.

Jeremy
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Damonh
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2009, 03:08:44 PM »

Shortly the bees will bee going from brood rearing into honey manufacturing mode. This will open up additional deep frames for honey stores, in your deeps. Your bees, the new swarms, should be able to fill two deeps and one to two medium suppers before winter hits, with a good goldenrod bloom.
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009, 06:27:06 PM »

as an added precaution, put dry sugar on the inner cover.  some put it on newspaper over the frames, but i like it on top.  in damp climates like mine, it helps absorb moisture, and it gives a little insurance food for them if you misjudged the amount of honey left.  it's easy to check on any day above freezing and easy to refill if you need to.

in a very dry winter climate, you can lightly spray the sugar so that it is a little damp.  they don't use it well if it's completely dry.  i have found late winter and early spring to be the danger times for losing hives.   they start to get a day here and there to move about, and they will quickly go through stores left from winter.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2009, 07:54:51 PM »

Kathy, so you go into winter with the sugar instead of waiting to see how low they are on stores?
That sure would be better than waiting for a warm enough day to open the hive and finding out they are already starving.
How much do you put out? A 5lb bag sufficient?
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kathyp
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2009, 08:01:46 PM »

as much as the deep side of the inner cover will take and still have the outer cover fit flat.  i doubt it's a full 5 lbs.  by mid October or so i have done my last check and i put the sugar on then.  when the odd warmer day comes during the winter, i make a quick check.  i know they don't need the sugar that early, but our weather can be so bad from October on that i may go many weeks without being able to check. 

i don't have to worry about dampening the sugar here!  the sugar absorbs enough moisture to be about perfect all winter long.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Natalie
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2009, 09:17:41 PM »

Thanks Kathy, I won't have to dampen the sugar here in New England either.
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p51
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2009, 09:35:51 PM »

Thanks for all of the info. this forum is great!
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jeremy_c
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2009, 09:18:43 AM »

by mid October or so i have done my last check

Is October a date that you choose or do you watch weather trends, i.e. evening's being in the mid 40's or something? I am curious for my area, which I am sure has different winters than yours.

Jeremy
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kathyp
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2009, 10:05:56 AM »

by october we are having frost, and by then there is no reason to get in there anymore.  they need to seal the thing up for winter.   

when you are not needing to check for brood, disease, queens, stores, etc., there is no reason to keep looking  smiley
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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