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Author Topic: Attention beeks in the north read this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Read 10545 times)
BlueBee
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2011, 03:28:25 PM »

@T Beek in Badger land

Most humans seem to be adamant against providing any heat for the bees.  “Cold doesn’t kill bees”.  I would say forget the humans and give your bees what they really need right now…HEAT!  If your bees are on their last leg, why not give them enough heat so they can find their stores?  They also eat less when they’re warm.  Heat has worked great for me and it’s cheaper than sugar.

How much heat?  That depends on the insulation value of your hive.  If it’s wood and if you’re below 0F, my guess is a 50 watt heater would be a good place to start.  You might need even more.  In an emergency situation, you might try a frozen pipe heater from Home Depot or a hardware store.  I use heat for my little nucs, but they are in foam boxes, so I have not tried a frozen pipe heater.  Foam boxes only need 5 to 15 watts to stay warm.   
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Trot
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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2011, 03:41:51 PM »

T Beek,
make a candy board, lift the inner cover off and put candy board right over the top brood chamber.  Make sure that the candy board box/frame has in the bottom - front side cut out a notch for ventilation and a way out for bees when they want to go for a dump in warmer weather...

Good luck,

Regards,
Trot
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T Beek
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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2011, 03:42:41 PM »

BlueBee :?Actually, artificial heat fools bees into thinking its warmer than it really is, causing them to venture out on days they normally wouldn't, along with many other potential issues.  

And in reality they consume MORE when its warm and  LESS during extreme cold, especially when compared to say just hovering around freezing.  

Humans are responsible for killing more bees than anything else shy of an asteroide. Sad Cold doesn't kill bees, people do.

thomas
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T Beek
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« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2011, 03:46:16 PM »

T Beek,
make a candy board, lift the inner cover off and put candy board right over the top brood chamber.  Make sure that the candy board box/frame has in the bottom - front side cut out a notch for ventilation and a way out for bees when they want to go for a dump in warmer weather...

Good luck,

Regards,
Trot
Thanks Trot, I'd foloow your suggestion, but 6 above zero is just plain to cold to open them up right now, next week back up into the 20's, maybe then, but I don't like going inside unless its at least 35, sunny and NO WIND.  Thanks again.

thomas
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BlueBee
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« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2011, 04:03:12 PM »

@T Beek

I wasn’t suggesting you warm your bees up to 90F in the winter grin 

I might pose a physics question to you though.  Do you have to burn more energy to heat your home when it is 0F outside or when it is 40F outside?   

If the bees in a cluster are trying to maintain the core of the cluster in the 90s, are you suggesting they somehow burn less energy (honey stores) when it is 0F outside than when it is 32F outside? 
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Finski
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« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2011, 04:06:39 PM »

.
After 48 years beekeeping my hive wintering goes its own course.  i do not try anything new. It is simple.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2011, 04:13:51 PM »

I would follow Finski if you have a full strong hive!!!! 

However, my understanding was T Beek’s hive might be on its leg, hence my suggestion for a little tender loving care.  I guess TLC must be limited to cats and dogs though  shocked
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Trot
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« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2011, 04:17:29 PM »

I know what you are saying T Beek, but, I thought they are starving?

You seem to be worried about what is in store, weather wise, tonight?
If no time for candy board (that should be nice and warm and when put on the hive the bees will be warm) lay on top of frames some paper and pour on a few bags of dry sugar - that too can make a difference in a pinch...

I don't even go close to mine in winter. Never mind opening them.  I make sure that everything is done right in the Fall and than I don't look at them until flight time in Spring - when it is time to bring in the battery and activate the bear fance.

It is a toss of a dice, friend, let them be open to the air for 20 seconds, or let them starve to death.
Next week might be too late?
Would you wait for next week to have your next meal?

I am not trying here to convince you to do nothing, if you have no mind too.  I just hate for the bees to suffer and die when there are ways to help them at this time in the game. . .
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T Beek
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« Reply #48 on: January 20, 2011, 05:28:33 PM »

Blue Bee; no, of course bees, nor humans, burn more when temps are closer to freezing, however, comparing the two is like comparing a blade of grass to a pebble grin.  The reality is that Bees "do" consume more when temps are at freezing or above especially when compared to temps at or well below zero, when they will consume little to nothing, as they cannot/willnot move from their cluster. Please BlueBee, no offense was intended by negating your advise.  It was apreciated, just not my way, to artificially heat up my bees.  I'm serious when I say, someone should develope a way to feed without opening them up. 

Trot;  These bees "may" be starving, maybe not, my concern is that they are quieter than I'd like and while I desparately WANT TO FEED THEM RIGHT NOW, I dare not as I don't want chilled brood either.  We had exceptionally warm fall weather, causing all of my hives to consume winter stores better left for right now, and the feed I provided which they eagerly lapped up as there was nothing for them to forage on.  Thanks for your support and advise,

Finski; C'mon Man, you've not tried "anything" new in 48 years?Huh rolleyes

thomas
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BlueBee
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« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2011, 05:55:26 PM »

Hey T Beek

No offense taken.  That’s the cool thing about beekeeping, there are lot of way to work them!

Maybe I’ll have to put on my thinking cap for a way to feed without opening them up.....since I’ve given up trying to perfect feeders!

Maybe we can coax Finski to help us invent?

Good Luck
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bullship
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« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2011, 06:23:43 PM »

Bees burn the least amount of stores at 42 degrees f. Wrap to keep drafts off not heat up the hive. Need a top and a bottom hole to allow moisture out. Second windbreak also helps.
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Bullship
T Beek
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« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2011, 06:44:44 AM »

Bees burn the least amount of stores at 42 degrees f. Wrap to keep drafts off not heat up the hive. Need a top and a bottom hole to allow moisture out. Second windbreak also helps.

bullship;:roll:Welllllll, I don't think its true that bees burn the least amount of stores at 42 F.  You'll have to show me that research.  I believe that's actually a temp they will greedily lap up stores instead. A strong colony needs no wrapping as workers make certain propolis is in every nook and craney before winter.  For myself, in the past, wrapping just caused excessive moisture issues, but I'm still open to other methods, just haven't found one that works for my bees.

Well published research will tell you that the COLDER it gets, the LESS bees willl consume.  Bees will die by starvation rather than leave their brood during cold temps.

I do use both top and bottom entrances on "some" of my Langs and I agree and use wind breaks all around my hives and 2 inch rigid insulation on top..

thomas
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BlueBee
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« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2011, 11:44:41 AM »

Hey Thomas,

It looks below 0F there in NW Wisconsin today!  Brrrrr.  The lakes keep us a little warmer over here.  Can you tell us the color of your hives?  It looks like you might be getting some sun today.  Does the sun help warm up your hives? 

I was under the impression that people wrap their wood hives with black tar paper for two reasons.  One to keep out the wind, and two, to absorb heat from the sun on a sunny day giving the bees an opportunity to break cluster and move to new stores.  I agree with your comment about propolis, see we do agree on something!

I’m still pondering a feeding mechanism for you without opening a hive.  How about blowing some powered sugar in your hives thru the entrances/vents?
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T Beek
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« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2011, 11:58:27 AM »

Backyard thermeter was -29 at 5:30AM, closest town said -33.  It was cold, but its been colder and for MUCH longer than a night here and there.  I used to wrap my hives, but had problems w/ moisture, even w/ top entrances, with and w/out open, SBB.  I've tried alot of things and haven't entirely given up wrapping, just seeking another method.

Yeah, I've thought about just blowing or somehow pouring some dry sugar into the entrances, but decided against it, never saw/heard it done anywhere, and I didn't want to clog up their escape.

My hives are a combination of green, gold (more like baby poo yellow), white and natural.

I'll bet we agree on many things (and disagree too Wink

thomas
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BlueBee
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« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2011, 12:19:54 PM »

You’re right Thomas, we probably DO agree on more things that most since we’re all BKs at heart! 

I recall seeing a video on the web of an experimental mite treatment in which they were blowing powered sugar into a hive thru the bottom entrance.  I think it might have been out of the University of Georgia.  That was to removing mites, but maybe it could be adapted for your emergency winter feeding too?

I wonder what Finski would say?  He must have had at least 1 weak winter hive in all his years of experience  huh   

Assuming the innards of a winter hive are moist, there would be lots of places for powered sugar to stick.  You would have to assume at least some would end up sticking to the bees!  As for clogging the exit holes, maybe you just push a stick in there and clear it out when you’re done?  I don’t think this would replace winter sugar boards, but in an emergency situation it might work???

-29F is ridiculous, you definitely deserve an award for bee keeping in those conditions!!!!
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T Beek
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« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2011, 12:35:07 PM »

Was just out with my stethascope, all hives still showing/giving signs of life, including the worrisome one.  Before I do anything I'll wait till next Monday or tuesday, suppose to be in mid-20s.  May just open it up and dump in the sugar and close it back up.  Shouldn't be more than 30 seconds if I can get my wife to help.

I think finski would say, "let them die."  Could be wrong about that but I think I've seen that from him around here and I agree to some extent, that old saying about bees that die, "we/they didn't want them anyway."  Sad but true sometimes.  Watching your bees die while scratching your head over the what ifs, could ofs, and should ofs will drive me nuts. 

I've learned something from each die-off experienced and will likely continue learning till I'm done with this particular adventure, although I can't imagine ever giving this up.

thomas
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2011, 03:04:15 PM »

I think tomorrow i will wrap the hives with insulation bats for the weekend till the intense cold snap is over

I think you need more hives  grin

You may think i do but i know i do   grin
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backyard warrior
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« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2011, 03:13:32 PM »

T-Beek if i was you i would make up some fondant and take off the inner cover and give them some fondant right on the frames near the cluster why not help them if you can its been a very cold year compared to others and if i can save my bees from dying thats less i have to spend come spring thats just my two sense   rolleyes
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Acebird
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« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2011, 03:54:46 PM »

I miss this one when it first came up and there sure is an active discussion…

1) felt paper has only one purpose to warm the hive.  If wind makes it through a ¾ - 7/8 thick wooden board 15# felt paper isn’t going to help.  It may hold in some moisture.  I use a roofing material and screw separate sheets on three sides with two screws form the top and let it hang.  The corners are not sealed.

2) I am troubled about the comment that the bees will consume all the stores in the fall.  It is my understanding that the hive downsizes in the fall.  First to go is the drones.  The hive doesn’t need them so they kick them out.  I would assume the queen stops laying to further reduce the hive but I am not sure.  At any rate it doesn’t make sense to me that the hive would consume all the stores knowing that they have to make it through winter.  How would a feral hive ever make it?

3) I don’t see that feeding a hive without opening it up would be that big a deal (to get the feed in).  However if they can’t break cluster to access their own honey how are they going to access the feed?  I forgot who the original poster was but I think he said they couldn’t reach their stores and starved.


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backyard warrior
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« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2011, 04:27:00 PM »

What happens  acebird is that when it is very cold out the bees cant break cluster and move any distance to go and get the stores elsewhere inside the hive, with that said giving them fondant on top of the cluster allows them to feed themselves until it warms up so they can either move the cluster or bring stores closer to the cluster  Wink
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