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Author Topic: Lifted lid today  (Read 3602 times)
achunter
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« on: December 27, 2009, 12:54:13 PM »

It was about 47 hear in Millersburg PA today and i lifted the lids of my hives to check honey stores 2 of the hives were up the to top of there last super so i added some more fondant onto the top of there inner covers when i closed them up and the rest still had about a full med. of honey. My one hive that was a swarm i caught late in the summer has tons of honey but im afraid they are not going to have the head count they are going to need to make it through January and February. Sad
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homer
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2009, 01:35:02 PM »

I've got a swarm that has the same problem.  I caught it in early July and it seemed to be doing great.  When I checked it going into winter it was much weaker that I thought it was going to be and now there is only a cluster about the size of a softball left.  They won't last long I'm afraid!   It sounds like your others will be fine though!
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achunter
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2009, 03:10:48 PM »

sounds like were in the same boat haha but yeah im not sure what i can do to get them through i guess just let it up to mother nature my cluster is also about the size of a softball
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wetland bee
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2009, 04:29:01 PM »

EAST BERLIN PA.  Went through my 15 today, put food on 7. one gone.After that cold snap 14 remaining seemed pertty active.More snow Thursday
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Russ
homer
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2009, 10:20:40 PM »

sounds like were in the same boat haha but yeah im not sure what i can do to get them through i guess just let it up to mother nature my cluster is also about the size of a softball

I've basically given up on mine.  It's just a matter of time till they're gone.  Even if they were to somehow make it through, I'd have to combine in the spring or they would take forever to do anything.  Just part of the game, I guess!
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Wynoochee_newbee_guy
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 02:05:59 AM »

you did not do a full frame inspection? did you? The only thing you should do is heft the hive for weight and ad dry feed as needed. and a small brood ball is ok.
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wetland bee
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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2009, 06:41:28 PM »

Yes you our right.I did make sound like I did more. Just lift lid. if you see bees on top  they will most likely need to be fed before spring. if you do not see bees, they our doing fine. try not to move or jar the hive if you can  while moving the lid.
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Russ
my-smokepole
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2009, 12:03:24 PM »

Just a thought. What about using one of ROBO light set up to help keep the cluster looser, and to get her laying earlier
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My-smokepole
homer
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2009, 06:08:34 PM »

Just a thought. What about using one of ROBO light set up to help keep the cluster looser, and to get her laying earlier

My hive that is struggling severely is out in a field, far away from any possible electric source.
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homer
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2009, 07:39:31 PM »

Would it make any sense to take the small cluster of bees that I have left and move them into a styrofoam nuc box to help them stay warmer and hope they survive.  If it is an option I would have to do it inside a warmed garage of course.  Just a shot in the dark here!
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2009, 08:19:36 PM »

What do you have to lose?  If you move them to where you can keep them warm and keep them fed... It might be more trouble than it's worth, but that all depends on you.  I think I would try it.  It's a hobby to me, so it's worth how ever much effort I'm willing to put in to it.  I would probably put them in the heated plant room and give them a hose to the outside like an observation hive, and feed them syrup and pollen.  Then again I know just about nothing. grin
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

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bassman1977
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2009, 08:40:11 PM »

You would probably have a better chance of the bees surviving if you just stayed in the house and kept warm and leave them alone.  If they are that bad off, they aren't winter hardy.  No sense in wasting time trying to keep them around as their chance of making it through is already slim.  Make splits from the ones that are proven winter hardy.

Then again...what David said...  grin
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 09:47:38 PM »

You would probably have a better chance of the bees surviving if you just stayed in the house and kept warm and leave them alone.  If they are that bad off, they aren't winter hardy.  No sense in wasting time trying to keep them around as their chance of making it through is already slim.  Make splits from the ones that are proven winter hardy.

Then again...what David said...  grin

Since it was a swarm caught late summer the fact that they aren't in good shape now doesn't necessarily mean they aren't good bees.   Nursing them back to health might not really be a practical course of action, but to me it would be a learning experience. 

Then again they might be super bees if they got another chance.  Come on man, give 'em a chance... It's practically still Christmas.
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"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Samuel Clemens

Putting the "ape" in apiary since 2009.
homer
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 09:48:38 PM »

Well said folks!
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homer
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 09:50:05 PM »

Come on man, give 'em a chance... It's practically still Christmas.

I don't know how I can argue with that! I'll let you guys know what I decide to do!
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my-smokepole
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2009, 10:40:53 PM »

He are some more thoughts. If you own a small power inverter. and and 12 volt battery, buy a cheap solar battery charger and you are set. Seeing I own two out of the three and figure I can get a charger fo $ 12.00 HF. I will be taking a try. Just thinking out of the box.
David
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My-smokepole
brer
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2009, 08:29:20 AM »

I am making small heat units at work for an unrelated problem.  The units will only provide about fifteen watts of power, just enough to warm up a small cabinet to the point it does not freeze.

For a solar setup, that's a lot of power considering you would actually have to have about 45-60 watts worth of charge capacity and associated storage batteries at this time of year to make it work.

Instead of using a classic light bulb, try using a wire wound load resistor with a built in air cooled heat sink instead.  P=E^2R gives us 15=144/R or R=15*144 or roughly 2 kohm for 15 watts of heat.  1 Kohm wire wound resistors in 25 or 50 watts are fairly common sizes in industry, so buy two and put them in series.  I like using wire wound resistors for applications like this due to increased reliability. Also in this setup, an inverter would not be needed.
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my-smokepole
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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2009, 10:03:57 AM »

Brer would you link to some thing that you like. It would help greatly or would you just stop by Radio Shak
David
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My-smokepole
brer
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2009, 08:09:28 PM »

My bust, I went somewhere south with my math, multiplied instead of dividing,but here are the parts:

1 10 ohm resistor, 25 watts from vishay electronics manufuacturer PN RH02510R00FE02 cost 3.07 usd.  I have had good experience with Allied electronics in the past so that it where I would order that.

1 solar panel, 45 watt 90599-0VGA from harbor freight , I'm not sure if the unit includes blocking diodes so you may need to order a few 4 amp blocking diodes from allied to keep from discharging your batteries into the solar panel at night. Cost : a lot, around 250 usd.

A thermostat to save wear and tear on your batteries for the warm days. Find one that can handle about an amp an a half of load, say a replacement thermostat for a chicken incubater. cost somewhere around 20 usd.

Batteries, a good deep cycle will work perfect.  Otherwise you are looking at getting industrial lead acid batteries. 

Total cost: probably around 350-400.  If you can get power to your hive, you can make this a whole lot cheaper.

Solar panel has blocking diodes installed, is then attached to battery.  The panel should put out around 13.65 volts to charge it.

Run a pair of leads up to the hive, run one through the thermostat. continue on with your leads to the resistor, place one lead on each end. you will likely need to solder them.

A solar setup is likely more expensive than the hive is worth, along with the need to change out batteries each year, may make it cost prohibitive.

If you have household current you can do it a lot cheaper, and easier, and likely far more reliable.  Think egg incubator control circuit. your basically doing the same thing.
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applebwoi
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2009, 08:43:23 PM »

I agree its worth trying to save them, just to see if you can. Two years ago I captured a very small (softball size) swarm in August. Put them in a nuc box and fed them sugar  and they are now one of my best producing hives. Winters here in Amarillo likely aren't nearly as harsh as where you are but it is still a great learning experience.
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