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Author Topic: Over wintered bes not as strong as had hoped.  (Read 1306 times)
Lechwe
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Location: Holt, Michigan


« on: April 10, 2005, 07:43:30 PM »

I went out this afternoon to install my new package of bees I bought this spring. First thing I did was to open and do some management of the existing hive. I saw very few bees flying in and out. When I opened the hive the entire top brood box was still packed with capped honey except for half a frame. When I got into the bottom box there were not neary as many bees as I had hoped for. I thought they should have been stronger. This haive had 10 frames in each box and I wanted to get them into a 9 frame set up. While transfering I saw fresh eggs, larva in different stages and capped brood. I did not see the queen but she is obviously laying. When this hive went into winter there were tons of bees. I know they will continue to die during the winter but with so much honey left I am a little confused.

I used the two leftover frames in teh new hive. A frame and a half of honey and drawn comb ready for the queen to start laying immediatly should help them. The 3 pound package had more bees than the old hive from what it looked like.

I did not have a mite problem last fall when I closed them up and from what I could see today I still don't at this time. Did it just stay too cold for the bees to break cluster and move to fresh honey during the winter and many of my girls staved? Any ideas would be interesting to hear.

Thanks

Darrell
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latebee
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Location: western new york, near buffalo and niagara falls 42 50' N latitude and 78 50' W longitude


« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2005, 10:07:48 PM »

I am wondering what race of bees are in the colony that you overwintered? Some do go through winter with smaller clusters. I had one colony of Italians survive the winter with only about two cupfuls of bees and am hoping they may build up quickly.
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Lechwe
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Location: Holt, Michigan


« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2005, 10:15:51 AM »

Mine are also Italians. I saw new eggs, larva and capped brood so hopefully they will do fine. Just not what I had expected.

I helped an older gentleman last year with his bees because he had surgery and could not take care of them. He did nothing with them for the winter and they are booming right now.
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beefree
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Location: michigan


« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2005, 01:17:53 PM »

i had four hives croak completely this winter, one from dysentery(that one was obvious), two froze to death (the bees were still in cluster, heads into cells), and i have no idea what happened to the fourth because it was two deeps full of dead bees and green mold...maybe moisture dripping from inner cover?  The one hive that survived was the one that shouldn't have... it was only one medium and one shallow super (no deeps) and each only half full of honey (and it still has capped honey on top) and maybe 2# of bees, if that.  They have been merrily bringing in loads of pollen for the last two weeks, and completely ignoring the honey i put upstairs for them to eat.  I moved them to the backyard (they were 40 miles away, which wasn't working due to gas prices and lack of babysitters, and is why they were in such bad shape at the end of the season last year).  this isn't what i expected either.  i have heard that a lot of Michigan beekeepers had bad winters, with numerous hives freezing to death.  anyone else with similar experience?

Beefree
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Lechwe
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Location: Holt, Michigan


« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2005, 04:39:51 AM »

I had a number of frames with bees sticking in. I assumed they starved because it was too clod to break teh cluster and move to a new frame of honey. Maybe they did freeze. Hopefully there were enough bees the other day to make it. I will check them today or tomorrow. I have the same problem as you do, bees too far away. I live in holt and my bees are in springport. I am going out this weekend and talking to some landowners to see if I can move them closer. Someone should want free pollination I would think. Then I can check them whenever I want without paying $20 in gas each time.


Good luck
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