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Author Topic: How cold is too cold?  (Read 2707 times)
SherryL
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« on: April 23, 2005, 10:46:14 PM »

Spring is not cooperating!  I have plans to visit my hive in far N. Wis. on Thurs. & Fri. this coming week.  So far, the forecasted temps are only in the mid-40's.  I'm hoping the forecast will be revised abit upward so I can get in and medicate with Terramycin & Apistan.  If it's too cold to work the boxes, there's no point in me making a 700 mile round trip drive. I don't want to open the  boxes if it's too cold, but just HOW cold do you all think is too cold?  Is there a temp that's your absolute bottom number?

sherry
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2005, 11:16:36 PM »

40 is way to cold. Most people wont even open their hive if it is under 60 degrees. I have heard of opening at 55 but that would be like at a dead still and very sunny. I would wait till 60-65 at least and try not to stay in to long esp. if it is windy. bye Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2005, 09:06:01 AM »

I don't open the boxes at all unless the bees are flying.  Usually around 50 F.  I don't tear into a brood chamber for much unless it's about 60 and not too windy.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2005, 03:24:47 PM »

If all you want to do is medicate you can do that in weather as cold as the mid forties. I usually install mite strips in late March so I can have the strips removed for the major nectar flow in mid May. To add Terramycin all you need to do is lift up the hive body and apply to the edge of the frames, likewise for mite strips. If you delay you may miss out of prime nectar period for the upper mid-west.
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2005, 03:31:43 PM »

I like Michael Bush's idea - it is a great rule of thumb IF inspecting. But if you are just peeking into the inner cover or removing the inner cover and looking, you can go a lot lower than flying temps if your peek is short and none obtrusive (frame removal) of course, people in colder climates laugh at what I just said, because they wouldn't ever get into their hive until their short warm season if they didn't give a good look now and then.

Just curious Sherry, have you had mite problems last Fall that needs treating - becareful to NOT treat unless neccessary.

What really blows me away is that 700 mile round trip - my God. That's from here to Watkins Glen, NY a trip I will do in August and as much as I love Nascar Racing, and as much as I look forward to the trip - I hate to think of the drive. I know it is weird, a guy buys a semi-luxury motorcoach www.beemaster.com/bus.html (for the new folks who haven't seen it)  but I just hate driving in general. I don't mind TRIPS as much as daily driving - my rides recently to my father-in-law's hom (he passed away last month) is only 11 miles, but takes an incredible 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes to get to with local traffic. It is THAT kind of traffic I dispise.

I would not have trouble medicating the bees on a sunny day that is in the 40s if the wind is low especially. But a cold cloudy and windy day would make me wait just to be safe. I know Spring is going by quickly, we've had 4 cool days with minimal flights from the hives and the TREES are in major bloom now. If you asked me 2 weeks ago if this was going to happen I would NOT believe that each day is again in the low 50s and rainy, because 2 weeks ago it was 75-80 and sunny every day, but the trees were JUST starting to give up their pollen.

Good luck and I hope you get your bees closer some day. I know you are very athletic, this trip and what else you do while there might be a great trip if the weather cooperates.


By the way, good to see you around so much again, we missed you there for a while Smiley
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SherryL
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2005, 04:11:38 PM »

Thanks John - it's good to be back!

Yes, the very long drive is only temporary.  I'm with my bees full time from the first week of June until the end of Aug.  It's just now for the next 5-6 weeks that we're apart (well, and of course all winter!).  I'll probably make a total of 3 trips up and back before I'm there full time, then in the fall I start the commuting process again.  Although it wasn't too bad last fall as I knew I wasn't going to be taking any honey off, so it was just a trip up to put the Apistan on, a trip back a couple of weeks later to take it off, then a trip up at the end of Oct. (in conjunction with a backpacking trip to Isle Royale) to wrap them for the winter.  With the price of gas now, and the fact that I drive a Jeep Gr. Cherokee, I figure each trip costs about $60 in gas.

If the temps won't cooperate, I can delay my trip up until the beginning of NEXT week, right now it looks to be back into the 50's a week from now.  

I treated with the Apistan last fall, no indication of mites from the two hives that died over the winter, no reason to suspect in this one, but I understood the treatments should be done pretty much spring and fall routinely, simply alternating meds as to not build up a tolerance.  I DIDN'T treat with the Terramycin last fall as they were a new nuc in the spring,  but again, no sign of any disease in the 2 hives I disassembled a couple of weeks ago when I unwrapped them from the winter.  So you think no Terramycin either?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2005, 09:14:20 PM »

Last time I used Terramycin was the Spring of 1976.
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Michael Bush
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lee
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2005, 09:23:16 PM »

i just made a 1173 mile round trip from michigan to chattanooga. tn. when i got back. i got the call my bee were in. now it is snowing and cold outside  Sad
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SherryL
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2005, 09:45:12 PM »

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Last time I used Terramycin was the Spring of 1976.


What?!?  Am I TOTALLY out of the loop here?  huh   Michael, help!

sherry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2005, 08:47:19 AM »

>What?!? Am I TOTALLY out of the loop here?  Michael, help!

Out of what loop?  Most of the experts no longer recommend using TM (Terramycin) at all.  If you have AFB, burning the affected frames is more effective than masking the problem with TM.  If you don't have AFB it just masks it and causes TM resistant AFB.  As I said, I quit using it in 1976.  A bit before the experts decided it was a bad idea.

As far as chemicals, personally, I started in 1974 and I have NEVER used fumidil(although I bought some because I thought I needed it).  I have NEVER used Checkmite.  I have not used Apistan since 2001 and it failed then (and I only used it for two years).  I haven't used grease patties since 2000 (and only used them for one year).  I have NEVER used Menthol or Thymol.  What is it you want to know?

"Just say no."
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Michael Bush
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2005, 02:24:48 PM »

Do you lose hives to mites or any of the other diseases?If not, what is the key to your success?
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Judy
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2005, 03:01:48 PM »

Quote from: Judy Frey
Do you lose hives to mites or any of the other diseases?If not, what is the key to your success?


I never lost any to any other diseases than the mites and the mites are a recent problem.  The recent solution for the mites that I've been using (which I started about four years ago) has been to go to natural sized cells(primarily) and feral survivor bees (secondarily).  I wax coated PermaComb to get 4.95mm size and then foundationless frames to get natural sized cells afterwards.  I timed the capping and post capping times on the 4.95mm size and it's a day shorter on each.  One day shorter capping times results in half as many Varroa infesting the cells and one day shorter post capping times (to emergence) results in half as many Varroa offspring from the Varroa that get in the cell.  Results are a stable Varroa population.

I have treated my HOME yard (I have bees other places too that I have not treated) the last two years with Oxalic acid vapor both to see how many mites there were after a year and to get a clean health certificate to ship bees.  The results were that at the end of the year there was an average of 100 varroa in each hive.  In the spring the official inspection by the Nebraska Dept of Agriculture has found NO varroa in any of my hives for the past two years.

I have also been breeding feral survivors.

http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/bush_bees.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Agility Mom
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2005, 08:09:09 PM »

You have a lot of innovative ideas! Lots of research on improving methods being conducted in your apiary.

The pictures were very informative and interesting. A few questions:

1. What is the purpose of a migratory cover? I see that you are using it to make an upper entrance but does it have another purpose, also?

2. Why the upper entrance like that?

3. Where is that queen in the last picture?
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Judy
Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2005, 06:27:38 AM »

Quote
1. What is the purpose of a migratory cover?


Any migratory cover?  It's just a simple version of a cover.  I'm using it because its simple to use it to provide an upper entrance.  I can do the same with some shims, an inner cover and an extra box and I often do that since I have some of that around.  But the migratory with the shims is cheaper and simpler and lets me turn the hive the "warm" way so I can stand behind and work it more easily with the bars straight in front of me.

Quote
I see that you are using it to make an upper entrance but does it have another purpose, also?


Just an easy way to get an upper entrance.

Quote
2. Why the upper entrance like that?


 My main reason for the upper entrances is I have a lot of skunk and mice problems here, moreso than anywhere else I've had bees, and that resolved them.  It's also nice in the winter to cut down on condensation and make sure the bees have ventilation and can get out when the snow is deep on a warm day.

Quote
3. Where is that queen in the last picture?


You did enlarge it by clicking on it didn't you?  She's marked.  With a green dot.  Still can't find her?  Practice would be better.  OK.  I added a hyperlink on the word "queen" in the question so you can get a picture that has her circled.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2005, 06:53:43 AM »

I had seen people mention migratory covers before and wondered what they were.
I went back and studied your last picture. Couldn't get the link to work but I think I found the queen.
Enjoyed your site.
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Judy
Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2005, 08:49:28 AM »

Sorry, I added a link and uploaded the new page, but the link doesn't show up for me either.  I'll try again later tonight.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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