Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Winter loss.  (Read 2212 times)

Offline brendan

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Winter loss.
« on: February 02, 2010, 03:15:33 PM »
I checked on my four hives this week by the stethoscope method. I could hear bees in all four of my hives. Last fall I put dry sugar on a spacer on top of some newsprint with the cover and top over that. I peeked in and sugar is still there. So my question is what is the likelyhood that my bees will make it to spring. Anyone more experienced venture to guess. I live in zone 5 around Kansas city.

Offline ONTARIO BEEKEEPER

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • Dancing Bee Apiaries
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 05:44:54 PM »
Give them the pull test.... stand behind the hive and just give them a little lift to see how heavy they are. If they are heavy at least you can worry less about them starving. Since they are not up where you put the sugar, it likely means they are still eating their way up to it.
I don't feel safe about a hive making it through the winter until I see pollen coming in, until then its just a guess.

Offline brendan

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 06:05:19 PM »
when should I start feeding. Pollen is very plentiful in this area and it seems to hit earlier than the nectar .

Offline beee farmer

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 387
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 06:34:38 PM »
Cant speak for your area but here in the south "winter" losses are usually less than the ensuing spring crashes. Probably because we have such short winteres.  Girls are hauling pollen like crazy fro the last 2 weeks.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do"  Benjamin Franklin

Offline brendan

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2010, 08:08:56 PM »
when should I start feeding. Pollen is very plentiful in this area and it seems to hit earlier than the nectar .

Offline ONTARIO BEEKEEPER

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • Dancing Bee Apiaries
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 01:41:46 AM »
Well first off do you need to feed them ?  Are they light ?  If they are light feed them right away. If you just want to give them a boost, 1:2 sugar water mix. But if you start feeding don't stop until a flow begins.

Also, I forgot I'm in the north. My bees will crash in late Feb or anytime in March, if they make it past this, things look pretty good.

Offline bmacior

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Gender: Female
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 09:21:47 AM »
Why 1:2?  I was reading the other day that is what George Imrie recommended.  If 1:1 is most like nectar, why water the syrup down more?  Bees dilute honey to feed to their larvae.  Do they also dilute nectar for the same purpose?

Offline David LaFerney

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 924
  • Gender: Male
    • The Door Garden
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 09:24:42 AM »
Cant speak for your area but here in the south "winter" losses are usually less than the ensuing spring crashes. Probably because we have such short winteres.  Girls are hauling pollen like crazy fro the last 2 weeks.

What causes those spring crashes though? Can they be prevented?
"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.

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 14649
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 12:02:07 PM »
I would not count a hive dead until they are not moving on a 60 degree F day.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline kathyp

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 15608
  • Gender: Female
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 12:16:54 PM »
Quote
I would not count a hive dead until they are not moving on a 60 degree F day.

no kidding!   :-D  it's taken me a couple of times to learn that  lesson!
.....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

Offline ONTARIO BEEKEEPER

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 60
    • Dancing Bee Apiaries
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 02:01:18 PM »
Why 1:2 ?

 Because you are just trying to stimulate brood rearing until a flow starts happening;  and not trying to build up stores for winter. But in reality I don't really worry or try to get too scientific about it. If I have to feed they get heavier stuff in the fall and lighter in the spring.

Offline beee farmer

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 387
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 03:26:15 PM »
I would not count a hive dead until they are not moving on a 60 degree F day.

Ditto on that Mike,  another often misjudgement is that you are queenless, often she is simply not laying for some reason that us 2 legged creatures dont realize........ yeah yeah... I got that tee shirt too.
"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do"  Benjamin Franklin

Offline danno

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 04:21:28 PM »
winters just half over here in Michigan and the worst is yet to come.  Feb and March scare the hell out of me.

Offline Scadsobees

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 3198
  • Gender: Male
  • Best use of smileys in a post award.
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 10:25:27 PM »
The trick is to start out without any hell in you.  Then February and March aren't so bad. :-D
Rick

Offline MustbeeNuts

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 552
  • Gender: Male
    • Great White Betta
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 09:09:29 AM »
So far I've lost 7 hives, and i havent checked the outyard yet. They all seem to have left. no dead bees inside to speak of, well a few but if there are 100 bees in each hive thats exaggerating. Oh wel, new bees for the spring. LOL I sugared several pounds in each hive and fed till Oct. it was cold here early.
Each new day brings decisions,  these are  new branches on the tree of life.

Offline danno

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2283
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2010, 11:56:59 AM »
The trick is to start out without any hell in you.  Then February and March aren't so bad. :-D
I just got back from florida for a good share of Jan.  There's no way I'm buying "Feb and March aren't so bad"

Offline Two Bees

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 614
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010, 12:12:59 PM »
1:2 syrup............I would be concerning about moisture with syrup that thin.

"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.

Offline D Coates

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1141
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2010, 05:46:47 PM »
when should I start feeding. Pollen is very plentiful in this area and it seems to hit earlier than the nectar .

Feeding what?  I'll put some pollen on them the first or 2nd week of March.  Depending on what amounts of honey and sugar (left over emergency winter feed) they still have I may put a quart of 1:2 syrup on them.  You don't want it molding and a quart will tell you how interested they are in taking it.  I've found here the dandelions with their nectar/pollen start popping out mid to late March about the same time pollen from various local trees starts becoming available.  The pollen I put on them gets them up to speed faster, hopefully for an early black locust and blackberry crop if the weather cooperates.  If the weather goes poorly and they start getting swarmy I'll make splits and nucs.

It does sound like you are in good shape.  Watch the dry sugar on top.  If they start hitting it heavily make sure to give them more and you should be fine.
Ninja, is not in the dictionary.  Well played Ninja's, well played...

Offline Finski

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 3928
  • Gender: Male
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 02:59:56 AM »
when should I start feeding. Pollen is very plentiful in this area and it seems to hit earlier than the nectar .

Open the upper cover. If you see capped food in frames, don't feed them. Wait for  warm day and inspect what they have. Them try, what is the weight.

If you push there food for sure, it just stuck the free brood area.

2 full Langstroth frame of food is about 4- 5 kg sugar. It is enough for one month.
There are food in every frame too.

During spring I take extra food frames off and give to hives which are low in stores.

.
.
Language barrier NOT included

Offline Ollie

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 145
  • Gender: Male
    • www.olliesrockwall.com
Re: Winter loss.
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 09:14:14 PM »
1:2 syrup............I would be concerning about moisture with syrup that thin.


I don't know for sure but it may just be that when all the water outdoors is scarce or frozen and their movement limited they'll use that extra water in the syrup to hydrate.
Life is good...Make it gooder!

 

anything