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Author Topic: Winter loss.  (Read 2012 times)
brendan
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« on: February 02, 2010, 02:15:33 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.
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ONTARIO BEEKEEPER
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 04:44:54 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.
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brendan
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 05:05:19 PM »

when should I start feeding. Pollen is very plentiful in this area and it seems to hit earlier than the nectar .
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beee farmer
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 05:34:38 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.
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brendan
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2010, 07:08:56 PM »

when should I start feeding. Pollen is very plentiful in this area and it seems to hit earlier than the nectar .
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ONTARIO BEEKEEPER
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 12:41:46 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.
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bmacior
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 08:21:47 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?
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 08:24:42 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?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 11:02:07 AM »

I would not count a hive dead until they are not moving on a 60 degree F day.
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Michael Bush
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kathyp
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 11:16:54 AM »

Quote
I would not count a hive dead until they are not moving on a 60 degree F day.

no kidding!   grin  it's taken me a couple of times to learn that  lesson!
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ONTARIO BEEKEEPER
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 01:01:18 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.
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beee farmer
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 02:26:15 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.
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 03:21:28 PM »

winters just half over here in Michigan and the worst is yet to come.  Feb and March scare the hell out of me.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 09:25:27 PM »

The trick is to start out without any hell in you.  Then February and March aren't so bad. grin
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Rick
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 08:09:29 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.
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danno
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2010, 10:56:59 AM »

The trick is to start out without any hell in you.  Then February and March aren't so bad. grin
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"
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Two Bees
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2010, 11:12:59 AM »

1:2 syrup............I would be concerning about moisture with syrup that thin.

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D Coates
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2010, 04:46:47 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.
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 01:59:56 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.

.
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Ollie
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 08:14:14 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.
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