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Author Topic: What the bees tell me, or weather prognostications.  (Read 4582 times)
Brian D. Bray
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« on: September 22, 2010, 10:02:39 AM »

Over the last 2  months, while attending to my hives, I've noticed a few things about the bees, their winter readiness specifically.

All of my hives were at what I would normally consider October 1 status as of Mid-August.  That being well stocked with stores, with burr comb, but still a slightly larger than winter ready brood nest.  Meaning the winter cluster will be larger than normal.

They also seem to be willing to work adverse weather more than in previous years, I'm seeing bees still flying in all but the heaviest of downpours.

This tells me a few things about the upcoming winter, at least here in the PNW.  Winter will start early, meaning a fall that was just was wet as our spring will colder than normal fall temps, maybe 5 degrees colder.  The winter itself will be colder than last year's.  I'm not sure on the snow fall but we should have plenty in the mountains, if not in the lower elevations.  If you can, put on a few fondant patties in your hives they'll probably need it because of going into cluster earlier in the fall than usual and the possibility of extended periods of freezing temps that will prevent the bees from venturing out the the far reaches of the hive to transfer stores back to the combs the bees are clustered on as they usually do.  Having something overhead might be the difference in hive survival.

Supporting this hypothesis is the fact that my poultry are still coming out of their late summer moult.  The moult was a much harder and even the young birds are moulting as early as 6 months old which is very unusual.  I had some of my chickens and turkeys moult so hard that they got sunburn from having lost so many feathers.  It was kind of wierd having birds running around practically featherless with skin as red as their combs.  The regrowth of feathers has been longer than normal, over 2 months verses about 30 days normally, and with longer down feathering.  Most young poultry don't moult their first year, it's usually around 16-18 months, but even my 4 month old pigeons have moulted this summer with some of the older birds loosing so many feathers at the same time they can hardly fly and producing naked necked birds.  I can never remember seeing such an extensive moult in birds before.

BTW:  Internationally the storm of earthquakes, volcanic eruptiions, and tsunamis will continue at the same pace as they have for the past 18 months.  Places that have hardly, if ever, had a history of quake activity will experience some shakers or rollers.  Those areas prone to earthquakes will continue to experience at smaller quakes in the 4-6 catagory being fairly normal, many smaller, land a few more big ones like have recently been seen in Chile and China.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 10:54:12 AM »

i notice much the same.  lots of stores and lots of bees.  they are still hitting everything that even looks like food.  they also glued stuff tight, early.  the nights are dropping into the 40's and i''m going to slip the boards into the SBB's today.  i have already put the entrance reducers on. 
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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
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2010, 03:35:01 PM »

I thought I would post a note as a followup:

I recently read a NOAA weather prediction for the comming winter.  It said that the winter would start early, end late, and be wetter and possibly colder than normal due to La Nina.  Their report was for the USA as a whole with subsections specifics for different areas.  It was published in the local newspaper.

Personally, I expect a not so extreme cold but lots of moisture in whatever form.  As I type, here in the Salish Sea (aka Northern Puget Sound) area, most trees are still green, few have begun to change leaf color, the noticed exceptions being Maples and Oaks. I expect that to change in the next few weeks as we experience our first frost, after which winter weather will be the norm.  Expect heavy snow falls followed by heavy rains--that means lots of flooding potential in those areas prone to such things.

 
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2010, 11:28:35 PM »

Bees have been practicing winter clustering down here. I think it will be an early winter. We had a front already just last week and another is expected this week.


And LSU beat Florida tonight, it just might snow tomorrow.  grin


...JP
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Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2010, 12:17:22 AM »

It started to snow today, so far 2 inches, but the temps are due to drop to sub zero tonight and tomorrow.  We haven't had sub zero weather in 30 years and even then it was in February not November.  I can't ever remember it getting this cold this early which seems to explain the full body moults of the pigeons, chickens, and turkeys.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2010, 09:49:42 AM »

yup.  24 this am.  that rain that we had yesterday while you all were getting snow, froze over night.  would rather have had the snow.  we have had snow this early but not usually the 20's weather. 
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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
JP
The Swarm King
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Location: Metairie, Louisiana

I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 09:21:55 PM »

We had an unusually cold front come through about two and a half weeks ago I want to say but today we were in the eighties and tomorrow is forecast for an even warmer day.

Will have to see how things progress, hope it doesn't get as cold as last year, had to fix pipes at the cabin.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
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