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Author Topic: I think that they may be dead(or close to).  (Read 4021 times)
zzen01
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« on: December 31, 2009, 06:35:18 PM »

 Sad
Went up to the hive today(high of 12) and barley heard any activity. The front access was blocked by snow and ice. Unblocked it. Is there any hope?
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2009, 06:40:56 PM »

wait for a warm day and see if they fly.  when it's really cold, they sometimes stay quiet even when you bang on the box.  it's just to cold to buzz.
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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
zzen01
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2009, 07:01:30 PM »

They, during the summer were a REAL go-getter of a hive too.
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homer
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2009, 08:50:16 PM »

I don't see any reason to worry about the just because of those reasons.  Another thing to check for next time your out is dead bees in the snow.  That's a good sign that there are bees alive in your hive!  If you're really concerned and just can't stand it you can just pop the lid up enough to see the cluster inside.  I know there are many people on here who would tell you not to do this though.... but I don't hesitate to do it when needs be!
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2009, 08:55:53 PM »

i would not pop the top unless you have a warmer day.  40ish.  if you do, you let the heat out and what are you going to do about them anyway?  if you get a warm enough day, they will fly and that should give you your answer.  the only thing you won't know is how your stores are, but you can either do a quick check, or lift the hive.  take a flashlight and gear up.  you can do a quicker check of stores with some light, but the bees will probably go for it.
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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
homer
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2009, 09:05:44 PM »

I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to chime in!!! grin
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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2009, 09:34:12 PM »

why? is my favorite question  evil
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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
homer
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2009, 10:02:58 PM »

why? is my favorite question  evil

It depends if that "Why?" is in relation to "why" I knew someone would chime in, or "why" lift the lid.

1st, I knew someone would chime in because per past posts I've noticed that the vast majority of folks on this forum are strictly opposed to this practice

2nd, I honestly don't believe that a quick peek into the hive is going to be detrimental to their survival, and if it is, it's likely that the hive wasn't in the greatest of shape anyway!  I know there are many beekeepers, including I, who worry about their hives and just want to know they are okay during the winter.  Add to that, some folks may worry that after a long spell of single digit temps, their hives may be in need of some supplemental feed.  If you waited for another week for the temps to climb into the mid 40's it may be too late in some instances.  On that note, the temp around the cluster in the hive is around 75 deg. in the winter I  believe (please correct me if I'm wrong).  Any time you open the hive when the temp outside is lower than that inside, it will lose heat.  And I realize that heat will dissipate more quickly the more those temps differ, I just don't believe it is going to make enough of a difference to hurt the bees anymore than when opening it when it is 45 degrees outside.  For those that are really worried about their hives and want to know they are doing okay, I say crack the lid for 5 seconds and get that reassurance!

I know that my opinion is a rare exception, but I'm going to stick to it!  As with everything in beekeeping you have to do what you are comfortable with.  To a friend of mine last year.. he refused to open his hive at all in the winter.  What he ended up with was a serious moisture problem in his hive... granted it could have been fixed with better preparation going into winter, but a quick peek in January could have helped him alleviate the problem and end up with a living colony instead of a dead one.  Anyway, I'm going on and on... again you've got to do what you are comfortable with!
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kathyp
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2009, 10:56:58 PM »

the why? was more like 'why do it if there is nothing you can do to fix things?'.  if you are only doing it to satisfy your curiosity, that seems a poor reason to me.  however, we all must make our own choices, right?

yes, they will lose heat every time you open the hive.  it's not about the heat lost, but about the energy needed to recover the temp.  if you open the hive at 20 degrees, it will be much harder for the bees, who are probably not eating at that temp, to generate enough heat to get the temp back up.  much less so at 40 degrees.

you should always attempt to fix a problem.  simple curiosity  is not a problem with the hive, it is a problem with the beekeeper.  one need not open the hive to fix a personal problem.
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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
homer
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2009, 11:15:00 PM »

All good points!  That's what is great about beekeepers and beekeeping!  We're all different and we all have a great time being different.  Perhaps I should take you advice to heart and realize that if I'm properly prepared going into winter then it's not necessary to check during those miserable months!  Thanks for all the good points you mentioned!  Wink
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Davepeg
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2010, 09:09:11 AM »

The winter is the hardest on beekeepers.  We all want to "peek" inside to assure ourselves that the girls are in fact alive and well.  After my husband telling me some of the hive covers had been blown off due to strong winds, I just want to peek inside - but it is way too cold so I will not.  What does help is I have one observation hive where I can see in.  It's my only top bar hive - I did see quite a few bees moving around the hive - made me feel better.

I wish all my hives had camera in them so I could sit inside and check on them!
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2010, 10:02:26 AM »

A good thing about the oil traps that I'm using is that you can take out the tray and look up through the SBB with an inspection mirror.  That would probably let out less heat than opening the top - but still, like Kathy said, if you can't do anything why stress them?  I haven't done that since it got cool, but both my hives were flying a few days ago anyway when it was upper 40s.

I added some more dry sugar last time it was in the 60s, and other than that I've left the lids on. I do have a stethoscope though. 
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2010, 11:14:33 AM »


Kurt,

I believe you need too do some checking on this temperature ! { much cooler }

I notice by your June 14 2008 post this is your first full year of bee-keeping.

" On that note, the temp around the cluster in the hive is around 75 deg. in the winter I  believe (please correct me if I'm wrong). "

Bee-Bop
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homer
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2010, 12:32:59 PM »


Kurt,

I believe you need too do some checking on this temperature ! { much cooler }

I notice by your June 14 2008 post this is your first full year of bee-keeping.

" On that note, the temp around the cluster in the hive is around 75 deg. in the winter I  believe (please correct me if I'm wrong). "

Bee-Bop

Thanks for the correction, what is the temp?  Even still, that doesn't change much about the points that I was trying to make!  It's actually my second year of beekeeping, I started with my first package of bees in April 2008!
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Wynoochee_newbee_guy
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2010, 12:25:20 AM »

temp of center of cluster is 96. degress F. that was found in beekeeping for dummies.
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gaucho10
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2010, 07:27:23 AM »

To-Peek-Or-Not-To-Peek, that is NOT the question if you have a screened upper cover as I do.  As posted in my previous posts about ventilated covers, my cover has a 3" diameter hole in the center which serves as ventilation.  I just peek down the hole.  The bees have been hanging around near the center so I can judge their location throught the winter.  I also agree with homer on all his comments.

Also, as far as bees not moving...better check closely.  I notice that during VERY cold weather the bees seem to be motionless on the top of the cluster but in reality they are alive.  Dead bees on snow=good!

OOOpsss!   I just noticed that I have a typographical error!!!!!     Dead bees on snow= NO GOOD!   Sorry!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 01:54:12 PM by gaucho10 » Logged

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homer
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2010, 08:44:35 PM »

To-Peek-Or-Not-To-Peek, that is NOT the question if you have a screened upper cover as I do.  As posted in my previous posts about ventilated covers, my cover has a 3" diameter hole in the center which serves as ventilation.  I just peek down the hole.  The bees have been hanging around near the center so I can judge their location throught the winter.  I also agree with homer on all his comments.

Also, as far as bees not moving...better check closely.  I notice that during VERY cold weather the bees seem to be motionless on the top of the cluster but in reality they are alive.  Dead bees on snow=good!

I'm glad that I have a supporter on here!  Thanks for the comments!  Can you tell me more about your ventilated covers?
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woodchopper
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« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2010, 10:09:51 PM »

To-Peek-Or-Not-To-Peek, that is NOT the question if you have a screened upper cover as I do.  As posted in my previous posts about ventilated covers, my cover has a 3" diameter hole in the center which serves as ventilation.  I just peek down the hole.  The bees have been hanging around near the center so I can judge their location throught the winter.  I also agree with homer on all his comments.

Also, as far as bees not moving...better check closely.  I notice that during VERY cold weather the bees seem to be motionless on the top of the cluster but in reality they are alive.  Dead bees on snow=good!
We're going to Maine this weekend where we have four of our hives. It's suppose to be in the 20's and I'm intending on taking off only the telescoping covers to do what you described. I'm going to just look into the hole on my inner covers for live bees and check in front of the hives for dead bees. If I see a hive is still alive I'm going to feed some crystallized honey through the inner cover hole without cracking the seal. I've already giving them some fondant but I'm afraid with all the warm weather we had they might have already gone through that. I'd like to wait for a day in the 40's but we don't go up there enough for me to be selective on when to do it. I'll try to only have the Telescoping cover off for less than a minute. I don't want to lose any more hives this year......if I can help it. Wink
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gaucho10
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 06:20:43 AM »

homer,  check out this post about ventilated upper covers.  I have some pics of my setup.  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,20174.msg154165.html#msg154165

I am presently working on a new model which I should have finished by later on today.  I will post.
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2010, 12:45:34 PM »

You don't want bees to be active in winter.  They should be quiet.  I love having top entrances so they don't get snowed in, but as long as it's still cold, it probably won't hurt them any to be snowed in.  If you get a sunny day they could have taken a cleansing flight, though while the snow is still deep...
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