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Author Topic: Wintering bees in the basment ?  (Read 1514 times)
twintrades
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« on: June 12, 2011, 09:23:15 AM »

Just was wondering if anyone has done this with there bees? IF the colony would be week i mean. I thought about putting them in the basment ( unfinished) and having vinal tubing connecting to a plywood board. That way they could come and go as winter creeps up.  ANd spend the winter in house then in spring i could move them to hive bodies. Id feed also with eithre honey or sugerwater.

Crazy or no ?
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Shanevrr
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2011, 09:35:06 AM »

maybe if they access to outside, maybe it will work
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wisnewbee
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2011, 09:56:48 AM »

I would be concerned about them never getting into winter mode. They would consume huge amounts of stores and you would have to feed constantly. You might also confuse the bees moving them from inside to outside. The hive body would move, but the entrance they are used to using would still be there. General rule of moving a hive is 2 feet or 2 miles. Anything in between this confuses the bees. When trying to feed indoors, how are you going to keep the bees in the hive? I think you'd end up with a basement full of bees, and possibly a colony setting up shop in your rafters. Not good!

If the colony is on the weak side, feed, feed, feed in fall. Then wrap or insulate the hives when the weather turns cold. Keep them out of the wind! A good wind block is essential. Then make some candy boards and have them ready. In our area, with our cold, you might want to consider wintering with 2 deeps and an extra medium of honey stores. Don't wrap or insulate too much or you'll trap all the moisture in the hive and kill it with condensation.

Bill
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 10:12:01 AM »

You may wish to study the history of the bee in the United States !

Keeping bees in cellars was tried thru the years with vareing results, most not good.

Bee-Bop
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nella
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 10:19:38 AM »

 I have seen a weak hive winter over in a 3 car garage which had a little heat in it while being fed sugar water, it was saved and now is a very strong hive(2 extraction supers of honey so far). It was moved about 50ft which didn't seem to affect the hive when moved from the yard into the garage in winter and back again in spring. The hive was strong in summer and got weak in fall. He was a new beek and determined not to loose the hive.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2011, 10:38:40 AM »

Just was wondering if anyone has done this with there bees?


You need to look up (cellaring sp) bees just my $0.02


   BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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twintrades
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2011, 10:47:36 AM »

It was just a theory. I really dont think i would do it. Just was more interested in finding out if anyone has done it. Wink

And 3 min after i posted this i found a youtube vid showing just what i had thought !   
Overwintering Honey Bee Nucs Indoors
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Vance G
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2011, 11:39:56 AM »

Canadians have to be more successful than we do at wintering bees because they cannot call someone in the deep south to order more bees and queens when theirs die.  They have indeed various indoor metholds.  The vinyl tubing would have to be rough enough on the inside for the bees to walk on without sliding back.  The basement would have to be kept cold enough to keep them from too much activity.  If they eat they are going to have to excrete and you need a warm flying day for that.   I had best luck wintering bees buried deep in a snow bank.  A colony melts a hole around itself reminiscent of a 55 gal drum.  If they don't starve, they winter verry well.  The inside walls of the ice cave become very brown for some reason.   I understand that on the canadian plains they arrange for the snow covering with front end loaders. 
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gunner7888
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2011, 11:58:30 AM »

 First of all, I really don't know much, but, I watched the previously posted video last yr and had a nuc at the end of last fall that just wasn't going to make it. Sooooo I gave it a go. It was in a heated garage and I feed 2-1 sugar syrup. Does it work? Just put the 2nd honey super on that hive and its thriving. Was It luck?  I don't know, but I will do it again if one of my hives or nucs doesn't look good at end of the season. It worked for me.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2011, 06:18:29 PM »

Robo has kept small colonys indoors across the winter.  As I recall, it worked fine, but there are some steps to take.  You could probably get the information from his website.  They get into winter mode just fine.  Ask people that have observation hives if the bees rush out like lemmings to their death when the furnace comes on.  They don't.  They walk down the tube, dip a toe in the water, and head back to the hive. They don't have to cluster tightly, but they do hunker down and slow things down significantly.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 08:23:34 PM »

I have done it and i know of another beek that has.  I did it to save a colony that was about to die out during winter.  It was not a planed procedure.  

If a colony IS weak in Fall it might be best to combine them with a stronger colony.  Some would let a weak colony perish to remove poor genetics from the yard.  Lots of decisions to be made there...

There are many management techniques for winterization.  Most of which I would try first.

My meager account can be read by clicking on this link "BEE ICU"


Here are links to the othe beek that i know who did it:
blog - Honey on my Mind - Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3    
« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 10:07:19 PM by Hemlock » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 03:58:56 AM »

Indoor wintering is a very tricky thing.  I would research it a lot and be very careful.  If the temps are too high the bees don't live long.  Indoors often shortens the bees lives instead of extending it unless the conditions are carefully controlled.
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twintrades
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 07:22:21 AM »

Just seems like a good way to try and save a hive. Unless you have others that you could just add to make a stronger hive. But if i would have doubts going into winter i would do this method. Or at least try.
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 01:26:06 PM »

.
I live in Finland. Many winter hives here in basement or so, but it is not needed.

Last winter I had one frame hive in the firewood chest. Itwintered well with terrarium heater but small hives have great diffculties to build up in spring.

Then I had in six hive out and they had terrarium heater. Colonies were small, about 5 frames. Ok but again big difficulties to build up.

What ever you do, 5 frame colony is a miserable goal to over winter. Bir difficulties to build up.

It is better that colony is big in autumn and then you have no trouples in spring.

Why to play wih tiny colony year around if it is not able to forage normal yield.
At least it teaches the value of  big hive.


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Katharina
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 02:30:09 PM »

In Germany we have bee houses.  Search Bienenhaus in google to get some images.
You can basically use a shed for it and have access holes like this video showed. 
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