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Author Topic: Free Hive in January  (Read 2214 times)
leechmann
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« on: January 08, 2011, 05:45:40 PM »

Someone offered me as free hive and all his bee equipment in exchange for some honey. So I took him up on the deal. I brought the hive home which was two deeps high with bees and honey. This hive didn't have the reducer placed in the entrance. Temps here in northern MN have been about 10 to 15 below at night and up to 10 above in the day time. Next week we are in for some 25 below temps with day time highs of 15 below. So I decided to build a screened in area in my garage which is heated with floor heat, and is about 48 degrees, which is the lowest setting on the thermostat I put the hive in there and the bees started buzzing immediately.  I was thinking it would simulate the stories that you hear about people in the old days could put a couple of hives in the root cellar. I covered my windows in the garage so it is very dark in there. The bees have a constant hum going and sound like the hive is doing well. There must have been some ice in the hive because it drained out the front the first day.

My question is, is it to warm in the garage to do this? The bees come out, a few at a time, and walk around at the entrance. Some bees have come out and done the cleansing flight. Other bees have come out and not gone back in. About 50 bees have died as a result of not going back in.

Any suggestions about temp, amount of light, etc.?   
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2011, 06:54:10 PM »

I'm confused on Aug.10 this year you say you have 22 hives, that seems like a lot of hive experience to be questioning the artificial heat range of bees ?

Bee-Bop
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2011, 07:11:25 PM »

And I think if the man wants other opinions, he should ask. He doesn't need to be put down for asking questions. If it bothers you, don't look. People quit coming to the forum when they are degraded.

Leechman, I would screen the entrance and stop all exiting. Either that, or rig a way that the exit was outside and the hive inside. They will check temp before flying and stay in.
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leechmann
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 07:52:02 PM »

I do have 22 hives. I moved all my hives down south for winter. I don't see what that has to do with this. This situation just popped up and now I have to deal with it. Thought it would be fun too hear what others might do.
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2011, 07:58:57 PM »

Can you black out all the windows in the garage?    Make it all dark in there so they would not fly to the windows and die.
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 08:59:41 PM »

Leechman, I don't get winters like you do, so any answers I would give would be speculation on my part, but I just wanted to reassure as Iddee did  that any question you may have will be answered by most all considerate folks on this site.

Best of luck with your hives.


...JP
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leechmann
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 11:38:27 PM »

Thanks Iddee and JP. I won't let things like that deter me from asking questions.

I think I'll try to buy a low temp thermostat. What would be the ideal temp, so the bees would stay warm enough, but wouldn't want to venture out of the hive box?

I also like iddee's idea, of maybe running 1 inch clear tubing through the wall to the outside. The bees could walk down the tubing and feel the temp and return to the hive. Any ideas where a guy should drill the hole on the hive box, then mount a 1 inch fitting to the box and connect the tubing? Then I imaging I would screen the entrance off.

Still looking for suggestions, and I appreciate all you folks that answer questions and give advise on the website. Thank You
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011, 11:53:49 PM »

Could you fashion a mesh type entrance cover and cut a hole in it before attaching it to the hive then just run the tube in the entrance they already use that way there is no need to start drilling these girls. 
Just my idea. And what a great find for a small price!!
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wd
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2011, 12:12:40 AM »

Bees are doing fine here- outside - in my area with the highs are upper 40's to low 50's. lows have been mid to low 20's. wind / rain and water freezes in the wee hours of the morning. I'd try to leave the entrance where its at and fashion something as suggested.
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bud1
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2011, 07:22:39 AM »

Leeechmann; join in on ventrillo amd you can talk live with some boys that have years of experience and one of them runs over 3500 hives and has f0r 50yrs. they will personally amswer all yo questions from bees to cooking jumbalia.
dont pay attention to the ones who feel they have to put you down, i promis you they are being watched by the mods. and when they finally toe that red line, will get one warning and the next time wont ever come back.
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Stone
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2011, 11:26:56 AM »

Can you give the exact URL for the "ventrillo amd" you mentioned? Would like to take a look.
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Papi
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2011, 12:10:02 PM »

 leechmann I read about a way that a guy in Manitoba,Canada was wintering two frame nuc  in a box he built,and keep the wintering box at 39 degrees,with a short run to the outside world,very short run.Until early spring then he turned the heat up to I think 59 degrees. Hope this helps
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jhs494
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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2011, 12:26:27 PM »

I have two nucs that I am overwintering in my basement. They were light on stores and I wanted to try this without combining them with another hive.
I made a screened bottom board with four flat sides about two inches high. The front was drilled with an 1-1/2" hole with a corrugated pool filter hose that goes up and out through a basement window. Cool outside air can come in but it drops through the screened bottom.
I made a special top with a opening for a jar feeder and a rectangular opening that has #8 mesh on it. This stays covered unless I am adding water.
One nuc was brought in at the end of October and the other about three weeks later.
They have taken less than a pint jar of honey(my honey) in over a month. They will only take honey if I give them water. I do this with a folded up paper towel on the screen and I put about 1-1/2 teaspoons of water a day. I am now trying 1 to 1 sugar syrup.
This room stays dark and has a dehumidifier in it.
They stay clustered even though this room is warm. They cluster even tighten after the sun goes down and this room is dark all the time. The hose is about two foot long.
They will go out above 40 degrees out side temperature. This is an out and in relief flight.
They do go out about 5-10 degrees cooler than my outside hives.
The first nuc took pollen patty for about the first two weeks then they stopped.

This was just my way of keeping them going until spring. I have read about some others that have tried this with success.

Good luck with your bees and keep us posted on the progress.

Joe
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Joe S.
pembroke
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 01:25:55 PM »

as for the warm temp in the garage won't the bees use up more of the food stores? I read an article sometime ago about storing hives in a warehouse with controlled temps ( in the low 40s) and bees came through winter OK. Good luck with your new hive. Pembroke
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BlueBee
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 03:43:05 PM »

We get cold here in Michigan too, but not that cold!  Brrrr.  As for wintering in the garage at 48F, that sounds in line with what the old bees books advised 100 years ago.  Here’s a couple good ones you can download for free from Google books:

Beekeeping, Everett Phillips, 1915
Dandant System of Beekeeping, 1920
The Wintering of Bees in Ontario, 1917

In general the old bee books suggest something between 40F and 50F for wintering in a celler.  Evidently you don’t want them too warm in a celler for fear they may start breeding prematurely.  On the other hand you don’t want them too cold or they will have to increase their metabolism to stay warm.   Without cleansing flights (being in a celler), that higher metabolism will generate more waste in their bodies and can bring on dysentery.  This according to the old books; I’m not an expert.

I started 3 nucs last Aug (1 framers) and they went into Winter with only 3 frames of stores each.  They’re outside (Michigan) in hives covered with 2” of foam and 20watts of bottom heat.  The 20watts + 2” foam + small top entrance = hive temps of +40F over the outside temp.   There’s not enough bees in my little nucs to make more than a few watts of their own heat; hence the need for Consumers Power!  The little nucs are going strong at this point.  Just another idea for a winter time Bee ICU.
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edward
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FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 05:44:58 PM »

if they have food they will make all the heat they need.

you will only bee in trouble if they starve.

when they go into a ball every thing slows down , raze the temperature and the queen will start to lay eggs = need for more warmth , more mouths to feed.
leave them alone as much as possible and they will bee fine as long as they came get to there honey.

it works fine eaven in the cold north.

mvh edward  tongue
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edward
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 06:06:03 PM »

about the negative feed back
 
some people don't have any thing worthwhile listening too



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mvh edward  tongue
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Course Bee
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2011, 06:17:42 PM »

I'm a lot warmer than you here. We've only been down to -7 at night. I think the hose idea is really good. I would give them an entrance just above the hand holds and put a one inch hose to the outside and turn the entrance reducer to close it completely. If you have a screened bottom board you could put that underneath the hive to give some extra ventilation.
Tim
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Tim
leechmann
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2011, 06:29:22 PM »

Hey thanks everyone. Lots of good ideas and good information. I'll give it a whirl and see what happens. Thanks again.
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edward
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FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2011, 11:04:48 PM »

how about telling us how it went or not  rolleyes

good luck and I hope your girls survive  Wink
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