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Author Topic: My Nucs starved?  (Read 1271 times)
Course Bee
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« on: January 25, 2011, 10:45:34 AM »

I think I lost my two Nucs to starvation. Just checked them over the weekend. One had plenty of bees but not enough stores and the other must not have had enough bees because there was still honey right next to some of the bees with there rears sticking out of the cells. It's a real bummer, but I guess the queen wasn't up to snuff. I think I'd better order a package or two in case my other hives don't make it. I'm looking for some fondant to put on the other two hives just to make sure. I cracked the tops (less than ten seconds) and it looked like the clusters are up into the upper deep. They aren't against the inner cover but I don't want to wait until they are either.
Tim
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Tim
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 11:33:08 AM »

one immediate thing you can do is put some dry sugar on.  pick the warmest part of the day to do it and be organized so that you only  need to have the hive open for a few seconds.  usually it's not a good idea to get in there at this time of the year, but if you think they  might be starving, it's better to take the chance, i think.  if your weather is dry, spritz the sugar with some water.  if your weather is very damp, leave the sugar dry and it will absorb enough moisture to make it ok for the bees.

there are posts about using dry sugar if you are unsure how to do it. 
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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
Course Bee
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 11:47:06 AM »

Thanks Kathyp. What do you think about putting on fondant? Have you ever used it and is as good at absorbing moisture as just dry sugar?
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Tim
kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 02:16:03 PM »

i have not.  lots of people do and like it.  i never got around to making any + my area is so wet, i was concerned that it might sweat.  it's on  my list of things to experiment with, but.....
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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
Course Bee
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 04:18:53 PM »

I'm to lazy to make it myself , especially when most of what I read says it's a pain in the butt to make and the cost already made is very little more. I am searching for a local bakery that will sell me some.

Tim
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Tim
AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 04:26:55 PM »

I think dry sugar is right for you.
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Course Bee
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 04:29:00 PM »

OK, Thanks Kathy and Allen!!
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Tim
T Beek
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 04:49:02 PM »

Dry sugar now for sure, but don't give up on fondant, March is coming and they'll apreciate it then.  The best recipe is in the "JOY OF COOKING" Cookbook, its easier than you think.  I gave all my bees sugar today, we only got up to 21F, but I wasn't gonna wait (fridays supposed  :roll:to be the warmest day all week) and have another one die on me.  Two was enough already.

thomas
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Course Bee
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 09:48:27 AM »

How much sugar did you put on T Beek?
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Tim
T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 10:30:16 AM »

Two to three # probably for the shaky (?) ones (last years caught swarms).  My "survivor" Lang colony and My long hive colony hadn't touched the sugar I gave them in November yet so they just got a bit more on top, but the other three Langs, including my quiet one got 2-3 #, couldn't even see the cluster of the quiet one, but I could hear them below (in three mediums, must be in the bottom???, or they are a very tiny cluster and hidden) but they'd obviously been in the sugar I left them, the rest (besides Long hive which is not visable w/out exposing brood nest) had visable clusters ( hived In 4 mediums, clusters ocupying parts of top and below top supers).

I guess In hindsite I may have just been a worrywort over this quiet colony, and I just don't think its good to go nosing around this time of year and likely w/out all the proding around here I would've left them all till better weather, but I learned some things so its not a loss at all.  I/We/you put our bees to bed for the winter "right" or we risk killing them, even with the best intentions.  That is fast becoming my beekeeping winter philosophy.  Seems I change a bit each winter.  My survivors will eventually love me for it grin

thomas
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Course Bee
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 10:43:12 AM »

I put on sugar last night. About 5# on each of my two hives. I could see the top of the cluster two or three inches down from the top of the top box frames. It was 28 degrees and I wanted to make sure I got it on before we cool off again this weekend (highs in the singal digits). Do you know if there is a difference between rolled fondant and just fondant?
Tim
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Tim
T Beek
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 11:35:10 AM »

Afraid I don't know the diference between fondants, only know that the recipe in "joy of Cooking" is the one I use and my bees love it.

thomas
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BlueBee
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 12:11:49 PM »

Thomas, did you say you’re wintering your langs in 4 mediums?  I definitely like to learn from you bee keeps that live in such super cold areas (likes of you and Trot).  I do plan to try Trots methods next year in a hive or two.  While we might not always agree on Physics, I look at results.  I can’t really dispute what Trot does.

So that is why I’m wondering about your 4 mediums.  Trot says his clusters quickly moving up to the inner cover (because it’s the warmest area) and all the honey below them is of no use.  What Trot says makes sense to me.  What is your opinion of this?  Are you going to continue wintering with 4 mediums or switch to the way Trot does it?   
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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 12:47:12 PM »

I've actually wintered in as few as two mediums and they did fine, I guess that could've been considered a NUC, but I didn't know that at the time.  I've been downsizing everything to mediums since reading MB a few years ago and am trying to build more Long hives and/or maybe convert further some of my mediums down to 8 frame.  I've got a pretty bad back and lighter really "IS" better!!!!

When I got into this (after a 30+year break) like most folks I read a "little" bit and then bought a couple Lang kits and "THEN" started "really" reading and have been paying for that mistake ever since.

As I said about clusters in my current hives, can't see the one in Long Hive, but I know its there, can see portions of others (besides my quiet one) and they're all "near the top" but not right on at it, more like a half a frame or better below it seems, surrounded by honey.  This is all based on what I can see you know, as they are still covered with dry sugar, so I suppose they then "could" be right there.  Anyway my quiet one, I couldn' see at all, but could hear, perhaps (I'm hoping) they're just tiny and hanging on the bottom of the sugar I gave them in November chowing it down.  

This certainly isn't meant as a dispute, from what I can tell my bees clusters are simply not at the absolute frame top, as some have suggested they should/would be, near but not quite there and I don't know where for sure the Long Hive cluster is on the frames, just a general location (one of the issues "if" you're gonna go into your hives in winter Undecided.  

Its the first time I've ever looked inside during such weather (29F but no wind) and I don't believe I'll ever do it again, been reading too many southern beek posts, I guess grin 

One of The best tips I ever learned was sqeezing them down as winter aproaches, an empty frame or super is just unacceptable so I remove them.  That way I can start fall with say five or six boxes and end up with 3 or even two, not including a feeder box, for winter.

I'll likely keep everything in mediums and keep making boxes to fit them, (although my Long hive is filled with cut off deep frames with just top bar and about half the side, the bees keep the bottom open on their own) with some minor adjusting now and then, always a ;)justing.  All Mediums are working for me and its a luxury to have all interchangable frames and boxes.

thomas
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 10:45:12 AM by T Beek » Logged

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