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Author Topic: Wintering One Story Hives  (Read 3009 times)

Offline charlie

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Wintering One Story Hives
« on: August 14, 2010, 01:04:35 PM »
I see a lot of beekeepers are advertising one story hives full of bees and brood for sale. Most will be available in a month or so. My question is, here in the midwest I try to leave about 60lbs of honey on for the winter, how and/or what can I do to winter bees that wont have time to build any stores. Our winters are so cold I cant open hives from December thru March. Thanks in advance for any help.

Offline BjornBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 01:11:13 PM »
50 pound block of fondant on the inner cover hole will get them through..... ;)
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Offline ronwhite3030

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2010, 03:11:06 PM »
is fondandt really a great food source? for overwintering weak hives

Offline BjornBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2010, 03:43:40 PM »
Nothing is good for weak hives. They will be dead regardless of the food source. A weak hive is a weak hive and nothing in the differences of what you feed them will change that.

Now a light hive, is helped by many things. Discounting the fact that you may not have 60-80 pounds of honey laying around, then something is better than nothing. Fondant is made of sugar, HFCS, and water.

Way too much has been played into the whole "Is sugar good" or "is HFCS good" for bees. Most of the bad circumstances with HFCS a few years back centered on bad overheated HFCS sold cheaply to beekeepers.

If you have light hives, you have few real options. I overwinter hives on sugar and HFCS all the time. Just like many of the other non-tree huggin beekeepers out there, not trying to sell an agenda or promote themselves as something special, while promoting management that ultimately hurts beekeepers in losses come spring from them chasing unrealistic advice and expectations.

How about them cookies......  ;)
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Offline ronwhite3030

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 05:17:14 PM »
i really liked those cookies bjorn

Offline CountryBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 06:22:47 PM »
You are a good, smart man BjornBee! :) I like those cookies too! :) Sugar cookies with frosting on top! :-D

Offline Finski

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2010, 01:49:53 AM »
I see a lot of beekeepers are advertising one story hives full of bees and brood for sale. Most will be available in a month or so. My question is, here in the midwest I try to leave about 60lbs of honey on for the winter, how and/or what can I do to winter bees that wont have time to build any stores. Our winters are so cold I cant open hives from December thru March. Thanks in advance for any help.

If the langstroth box has 7 frames brood, it will have a 7 frame winter ball. Then it should have pollen frames too.

a Langstroth box can have only 50 lbs honey. It it has pollen, it has only 40 lbs honey/sugar.

That amount is enough for winter. Use insulated brood box, fast bottom and a well  insulated inner cover and you bees will be fine.


a hive box with simple wall use 50% more winter food than polyhive.
Ifeed one  box hives full of sugar syrup in September and it bis enought to May.
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Offline bee-nuts

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 03:43:20 AM »
Ok, so lets say I can winter in one deep lang.  Thats nice.

But come March/April when its warm enough to start messing with the bees I will only have one box of bees.  This last April when I opened up my hives, I had three of six that had two deeps packed to the gills with brood, pollen, bees, and honey.  Why would I want to have one box instead of two then.

Just a question. 
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Offline Finski

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2010, 04:27:30 AM »
Why would I want to have one box instead of two then.

Just a question.  

The wintering hive should be restricted to the size of winter cluster. It the colony has one fox full of brood frames, it is enough to the colony.

If you have extra space in winter, bees generate moisture and it condensates inside the cold hive. Frames get mold and the food suck moisture.
Bees need to eate morre when the heat escpaes to empty space.

I wonder why the hive should have 2 box if one box enough?

*******************

I try to have 2 box wintering hives but it it is one box, it is. This autumn they seem to have one box wintering, because it it dry here and bees have now only one box full of brood. To 2 box winterin the hive need now 1,5 box brood = 13-15 brood frames.  Now there are  7-8 frames.

It is brood area size which rules the size of wintering hive.

But I need to join many hives before winter feeding.  I feed on average 20 kg sugar to bees and I take almost all honey away.



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Offline CountryBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2010, 07:29:51 AM »
Is it possible to get the queen to fill more frames of brood before winter when we feed them?  Will they think it is spring and they need more workers?  A bigger cluster for winter with younger bees coming out for spring?

Offline Finski

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2010, 08:09:48 AM »
Is it possible to get the queen to fill more frames of brood before winter when we feed them?  Will they think it is spring and they need more workers?  a bigger cluster for winter with younger bees coming out for spring?

It is not sure. Only those bees winter which have not feeded larvae. So, all bees are young.

There are tricks how to get the hive continues brood rearing.

My experience is that

- a young queen lays 2 weeks later than a one year old queen.
- when I keep hives in late summer near pollen sources, like red clover, brooding continues and the hive will be in 2 boxes.

- good pollen store over winter is important to spring build up.

- of course you may do all kinds of tricks but now my biggest job is honey extracting.

- I accelerate in early spring brood rearing with pollen patty and electrict bottom heating.

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Offline hilreal

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2010, 03:16:41 PM »
Overwintered 2 five frame nucs last year in a very cold winter so a deep should be no problem.  I have made it a habit of keeping a layer of dry sugar on top of all my hives for emergency winter feed, including the nucs.  I have a 3 inch hole cut into the top of the nucs for a jar feeder.  Winter I put a piece of newspaper and pile dry sugar on top of the hole.  They went through quite a bit before it was warm enough to move them to a full size hive.

Offline hilreal

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2010, 03:18:09 PM »
Thinking about trying a 5 frame medium nuc this winter.

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2010, 05:36:52 PM »
Finski

Do you winter everything in poly hive bodies then?  What if im using regular wood langs, do I need two boxes for stores or would one be enough for seven frames of bees?

I insulated my boxes last winter and provided a top entrance for ventilation.  I had some condensation on outside of boxes but the only real problem I found inside were mouse nests which I will try to stop with better entrance reduction.

Unpacking winter hive wrap from 2009/2010 season
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2010, 06:12:34 PM »
All these great ideas for me! Wow!  Does anyone know if I can just put a cardboard box of sugar on top and they will store that now for the winter?  Can they convert sugar to honey?  Do I have to mix water with the sugar and put it in my feeder or can I just put it in a box with the top cut off on the top of my hives with an empty super enclosing it with the outer cover on?  Will they feed from the plain sugar the same as sugar and water mix?

Offline L Daxon

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2010, 08:16:42 PM »
I was going to over winter with 3 mediums: top and bottom is mostly honey and pollen, 4 or 5 frames of brood in middle box.  Is that too much space?
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bigbearomaha

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2010, 08:31:05 PM »
Quote
If you have light hives, you have few real options. I overwinter hives on sugar and HFCS all the time. Just like many of the other non-tree huggin beekeepers out there, not trying to sell an agenda or promote themselves as something special, while promoting management that ultimately hurts beekeepers in losses come spring from them chasing unrealistic advice and expectations.

Well, at least you don't have an agenda.   :roll:

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Offline annette

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2010, 07:08:07 PM »
I was going to over winter with 3 mediums: top and bottom is mostly honey and pollen, 4 or 5 frames of brood in middle box.  Is that too much space?
This is how I overwinter every year. 3 mediums, but I do not have the sort of winter that you have, although we do get some snow and frost for a couple of months.

Offline Finski

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2010, 06:01:35 AM »
Finski

Do you winter everything in poly hive bodies then? 

Yes. In summer i use old wooden boxes as super.

Quote
What if im using regular wood langs,

It depends on size of the colony. Uninsulated box consume 50% winter food more than insulated. Polybox is only 2 lbs heavy. Wooden box is over 10 lbs.



Quote

I insulated my boxes last winter and provided a top entrance for ventilation. 

That is good way


[/quote]
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2010, 07:25:23 AM »
Are poly bodies expensive?

Offline Finski

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2010, 10:05:58 AM »
Are poly bodies expensive?

About 1/3 that of wooden insulated box. Best of all, they are light to handle.
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Offline msully

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2010, 04:37:50 PM »
Hilreal - I wintered a 5 frame nuc last year with no problems.  The nuc was a little light going into fall so we fed it heavily.  January 1st we started feeding dry sugar on the inner cover.  I was so excited about being able to winter this nuc that I built a bunch of nucs and planned to over winter a bunch of them (15 or so) to sell in the spring.  However I've sold a few of them and may up selling most of them!  A bird in the hand is better than 2 in the bush....

Mike
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2010, 06:03:25 PM »
Finski, here we just have the betterbee poly hives I think, do you know of any others?  I can make wood ones but not poly.  Thanks, Country :)

Offline bee-nuts

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Re: Wintering One Story Hives
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2010, 05:15:14 AM »
Finski

Why not use the poly boxes in summer?  Would they break if used in summer?  I have never seen one in person but I just cant imagine them holding up to the prying of frames all season.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson