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Author Topic: wintering nucs in the basement ?  (Read 2563 times)
TREBOR
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« on: July 21, 2005, 09:25:58 PM »

Hi all,
 I am planning on wintering some nucs in my basement.
I will be giving them each a travel tube to the outside, in the book it says
to plug it for the winter, does this have to be done? or can they be left
open and if not ,why ?
  All pearls and any other advice on cellar wintering welcome!
also please see my other post on uncapped nectar!
 Thanks
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2005, 09:36:19 PM »

I think Robo keeps some nucs in his basement.  I think he has some pics of the setup on his website.  Pretty slick

http://robo.hydroville.com/html/modules.php?set_albumName=Basement-Nukes&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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TREBOR
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2005, 06:57:29 AM »

Thanks,
 I know I saw some pics somewhere around here!
does anyone else have any comments?
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drobbins
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2005, 07:49:54 AM »

Trebor,

I've thought about the same thing.
1 obvious problem you gotta watch out for is creating a draft that pulls cold outside air in thru the esape tube and into the nuc.
Say you have a gas furnce, it's burning gas and air and sending exhaust out the flue.
That makes a slight vaccum in the house, causing a cold air to come in the entrance tube.
I was kinda thinking about just keeping em inside with the entrance blocked off and take em outside occationally when we get a nice day.
I guess that would kinda depend on where you are, our winters aren't all that harsh here, we get spells of mild weather

I'd like to hear others experiences on this too.

Dave
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2005, 09:33:26 AM »

I winter my observation hives with the tube open.

I wouldn't put them in the basement, myself.  Bees have a habit of finding a 1/6" hole and getting out.  En Masse.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
drobbins
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2005, 02:05:02 PM »

Michael,

I don't understand
surely you don't winter a conventional (1 frame thick) observation hive outside in your climate.
What am I misunderstanding about your post
If you don't winter them in the basement where do you?

Dave
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2005, 02:51:48 PM »

I winter them in my living room, free flying with the tube open to the outside 365 days of the year.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
drobbins
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2005, 03:29:53 PM »

gotcha,

I have kindof a weird situation.
First, I have those casement windows that swing open like a door so I think it would be kinda hard to make an insert like you have to provide for the escape tube.
Second, I don't have a regular observation hive, I have a box that's 2 mediums deep and 4 frames thick with glass sides thats really more of an observation nuc  
I'm a rookie this year and made the mistake of only starting 1 hive, I'd really like to have another so I want to make a split into this box and see if I can build it up enough to overwinter outside. It's getting kinda late so if they don't build up enough I could recombine them with the original hive, or possibly try to overwinter them inside.
My climates pretty mild here so I could probably leave them outside most of the time and just bring them in when we get a bad cold snap.
Anyway, just thinking of possibilities
Another option would be to just be patient and wait till next spring when

"everything would work if I'd just let it"  Cheesy

Dave
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TREBOR
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2005, 05:19:35 PM »

thanks again Michael
 for coming to my rescue!
my basement is more like a cellar then a basement and the only thing I have there is bee stuff
  and its not heated yet , I'll just do alittle heat for the bees to keep it within the proper temps.
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2005, 07:55:27 AM »

Yes you can winter them in the basement, and I have done it.   But I wouldn't recommend it, nor do I do it anymore.  When it got too cold for them to fly, I would close off the tube to eliminate the draft.  The main problem that I found was since it was in the basement,  it was realitively always cool, which in itself was not a problem.  But come Spring when you want them to fly,  they don't get the benefit of the sun heating them up and getting them going.  They were always a month or so behind the bees kept outdoors.  

I have since moved to a method modeled after Finmans aquarium heater method.  Too cheap to invest in $20 heaters for each hive,  I simply placed two 7 watt night lights (I actually picked up the light/cord that they use to light up the ceramic christmas houses at the dollar store) between the screen in the bottom board and slide in cover (see SBB plans at BeeSource and you'll get the picture).  I also placed a sugar board on top with an upper entrance, and wrapped the whole thing in tar paper.   For most of the winter I used just 1 light in each (2 was causing them to fly when it was too cold).  Once spring came and they where taking cleansing flights, I turned on the 2nd light.  The two lights gave them enough heat to raise a good amount of brood (the queen actually laid in the bottom of the frames right over the bulbs).  Both nucs I tried this with survived nicely and are just as strong as my other hives.

I suppose you could provide artificial heat inside as well,  but why mess with bringing them inside and risking them getting loose.  It was also fustrating not being able to open them up for inspection inside.
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TREBOR
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2005, 09:45:36 PM »

Thanks All !
Just want to be ready b4 its time to
know what to do!
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