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Author Topic: Winter bee life-span  (Read 3625 times)
ziffabeek
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« on: December 30, 2011, 12:53:44 PM »

Hello all!  Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a joyous end of the year and happily celebrated whatever you celebrate!  Here's to a great 2012 for us all and our bees!

I have a winter-wondering question.  Winter bees generally have longer lifespan than summer bees, right?  3 months vs. 3-6 weeks or something like that.  My question is is the longer life physiological or is it due to clustering?  In other words,  do the bees live longer because they are not out flying around and wearing themselves out? Or are they somehow formed to live longer.

I ask because our weirdly warm winter has my ladies still flying on most days, and even bringing in pollen.  I doubt they are finding any nectar though, and they have consumed almost all of the dry sugar I put on top of the hive for emergency stores. (I plan on adding more, I think they still have some honey stores as the hives still have some weight, but it is going to be close).  My worry is that if the foraging does affect life span, and the queen is no longer laying (i observed very little brood on my last look in November), that my cluster won't be large enough when/if the cold of January  - February hit.

I realize there isn't anything I can do but watch and wait and I have already resigned myself that these 2 baby hives have a small chance of making it, but this is just one of the worries/wonders my experiment / chance taking has inspired.

What do you guys think?  Will the warm weather foraging reduce my numbers ?  Or will the winter bees still live longer and be able to cluster come the colder weather?

Thanks!

love,
ziffa
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L Daxon
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 02:51:32 PM »

Ziffa,

There is at least one physiological difference I have read reagarding summer bees and winter bees.  Winter bees have more fat than summer bees.  Sorry.  I don't remember where I read that.

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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 03:23:06 PM »

Well, bees come with a 500 mile warranty on their wings.   evil  When they wear out, the bees are finished.  So yes, the more they fly the shorter the lifespan.  But after the winter solstice, the bees start making small amounts of brood again.  In Atlanta you will have some eggs being laid in January and lots of eggs laid in February. 

My bees are really flying today and are bringing in small amounts of pollen, so their efforts are not a total waste.  The weather should be colder next week but overall it looks like we are in for a very warm winter.  I'll be checking the dry sugar in January to make sure nobody is starving.
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 10:24:39 AM »

>In other words,  do the bees live longer because they are not out flying around and wearing themselves out? Or are they somehow formed to live longer.

Yes.  Both.  Winter bees have more fat bodies.  They also don't burn up their bodies flying and they don't let their organs atrophy as field bees do.

In Atalanta if they are flying and gathering pollen, and since it's past the winter solstice, they are probably rearing brood making young bees to replace the old ones...
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T Beek
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 08:41:37 AM »

I've heard some old timers declare that they are nearly two different species. 

The subject of 'heater bees' in extreme climates is a great read and I've long wondered if southern bees have the same capability, or that they need a 'real' cold snap to kick such behavior in gear. 

I had bees leaving yellow polka-dots in the snow a few days ago when temps were in the low forties.  We are experiencing the warmest winter (after a record warm Fall) in recent history.

thomas
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 12:45:08 PM »

Thanks everybody!

I guess I hadn't thought about them already raising brood, since I know that the coldest part of the winter is still ahead. I guess I thought they waited longer.

Wow.  If they make it, we are going to be very busy this spring.

Thank you again!  And FrameShift - I hope you are right about the warm winter, I am afraid of a late cold.  Got my fingers crossed. Smiley

love,
ziffa
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AliciaH
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 10:21:21 AM »

Oh, boy, Ziffa, you got me thinking, that's always a precarious situation!  Smiley

I remember reading/hearing/making up in my head, that winter bees are fed more royal jelly and that that's what gives them their longevity.

Now I'm going to have to look back through my stuff and see if I can find where I got that notion.
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deknow
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 10:41:58 AM »

I think the biggest difference between "winter" and "summer" bees is that winter bees have not depleted themselves by nursing a round of brood.

deknow
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rdy-b
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2012, 06:37:11 PM »

I think the biggest difference between "winter" and "summer" bees is that winter bees have not depleted themselves by nursing a round of brood.

deknow

yes but they feed other bees if protien reserves are low(they pass beemilk around)-it is important that your
colony has enough reserves in the hive -as not to let them Dip and become deficant in protien--

 http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-economy-of-the-hive-part-2/

** I strongly recommend that the serious beekeeper read about the protein dynamics of the hive in a fascinating review by Schmickl and Crailsheim (2004), which is a free download. The authors detail how bees use jelly to distribute and share (or restrict), protein reserves in a colony through the process of trophallaxis (the exchange of food from bee to bee). This trophallactic sharing of food is the basis of the social structure of the colony. Indeed, newly-emerged bees beg for an inoculum of jelly and beneficial bacteria from nurse bees in order to prime their sterile gut.**

 
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 01:00:21 AM by rdy-b » Logged
BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2012, 06:44:50 PM »

I know of some people up here in the cold north with a little extra fat on them too, but I don’t think they’re going to live 4 times longer than the rest of us  Smiley  Maybe we need to figure out how those darn winter bees live so long.  Imagine Humans living to the ripe old age of 400! 
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T Beek
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 10:01:22 AM »

Excellent point BlueBee, and it lends some credibility to some claims that summer and winter bees are very different indeed cool

thomas
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2012, 12:03:00 PM »

I think the biggest difference between "winter" and "summer" bees is that winter bees have not depleted themselves by nursing a round of brood.

deknow

that is the order line, does the bee live over winter or  does it die before clustering.

There are researches  where hives have been feeded with ptotein to achieve a bigger winter cluster.  when compared to non feeded hives it revieled that the cluster did not become bigger. Feeders  died.

Then to long living. In Autumn bees need good pollen stores that they body becomes ready to stand winter. An emerged  bee eates several days to achieve the maturity. They dot not feed each other. Somebody must eate directly the pollen. Bees eate pollen during winter too and they  are very protein hungry after winter.

My winter bees emerge at the end of August, because there are no brood any mote in September.

Then they live up to May and they start to get willow pollen. At the end of May no wintered bees are alive.  In my climate winterbees live about  8 - 9  months.

i have had a big hive where winterbees emerged in July. When the queen failed to make mating flights for rains, the hive did not have brood in August but it survived normally over winter.

 
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Finski
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 12:15:50 PM »

I've heard some old timers declare that they are nearly two different species.  


of course not.....you need not to believe everyting what old farts say.

If we compare mellifera to A.  ceranea. Ceranea keeps the cluster temperature 36C even in winter. Mellifera drops it down to 23C. The difference to save food stores during winter is huge.

Mellifera made an invention. It started to live in tree cavity which keeps the cluster warm in summer and in winter.

Ceranea's hive in open space and seldom choose a cavity for comb building.
Other species of Apis family make a single comb under a tree branch.  They move to better pastures when climate is unfavorable.

One funny thing is that mellifera ventilates off from entrance and ceranea ventilates towards into the hive. But as said, mostly ceranea hive has no entrance. It hangs in open air.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2012, 07:06:24 PM »

**They dot not feed each other**.


**the process of trophallaxis (the exchange of food from bee to bee). This trophallactic sharing of food is the basis of the social structure of the colony. Indeed, newly-emerged bees beg for an inoculum of jelly and beneficial bacteria from nurse bees in order to prime their sterile gut.**


finski get the cobwebs out-this is not something new--you must understand the wisdom of the Hive--
 walk towards the light- :loll:

** There are researches  where hives have been feeded with ptotein to achieve a bigger winter cluster.  when compared to non feeded hives it revieled that the cluster did not become bigger. Feeders  died.**

 please provide the group with the research so we can scrutinize-- cheesy
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2012, 10:27:56 PM »

.
Rddbyy, you are again  on your ridiculous way.  you love mistakes. You do not see nothing else.  "when you have a hammer in your hand, every problem seems to be a nail".

They feed to each other but is it queen who eate pollen. Somebody must.
Stupid discusion level. 

Winter bee is a new species. Rdbeeyy. Why you did  not comment that  afro
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AliciaH
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« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2012, 10:46:59 PM »

http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-1/

Here is an excerpt:

"Fat bees and wintering

So the European honeybee, in adapting for the long winters of temperate climates, has figured out ways to store energy in the form of honey for the winter, and protein in the form of vitellogenin. This allowed the species to maintain a large social population year round, despite the vagaries of nectar and pollen flows. Amdam (2003) states: “the vitellogenin-to-jelly invention…made possible the establishment of a very simple and flexible ambient condition-driven mechanism for transforming a nurse bee into a bee with large enough protein and lipid stores to survive several months on honey only.” When broodrearing is curtailed in fall, the emerging workers tank up on pollen, and since they have no brood to feed, they store all that good food in their bodies, thus preparing themselves for a long life through the winter. These well-nourished, long-lived bees have been called “fat” bees (Sommerville 2005; Mussen 2007). Fat bees are chock-full of vitellogenin. Understanding the concept of fat bees is key to colony health, successful wintering, spring buildup, and honey production."

I am going to have to read the article again to better grasp some of the details, but this paragraph seemed to sum it all up pretty well.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2012, 10:51:31 PM »

**Winter bee is a new species. Rdbeeyy. Why you did  not comment that**

 new species--my god man--you found a new specie--  cheesy

 the point i was try to show is that it is possible for the colony to DIP in protein reserves
 that are stored in body fat-(winter bee & vitellogene--or do we have to go back to square one)
WITHOUT REARING ANY BROOD AT THAT TIME--much more going on inside the hive than average
beekeeper realizes-with that said i am surprised that this is news to you-----
with your extended period of confinement-this is EXACTLY what is going on with your bees
 towards the end of the extended confinement----protein reserves are at there LOWEST and there
 is NO BROOD BEING REARED--understanding this is a huge advancement for evaluating your hive
for your management decisions--RDY-B  

 http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-economy-of-the-hive-part-2/
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2012, 11:37:33 PM »

.
Rgyoo.

You use strange authors like Randy Oliver. He published his first letter 2006. Revolution among hobby beekeepers to meet a scientic beekeeper.

When i started 50 years ago, I read  about winter bees from a book "Modern beekeeping".
Have you born then?

Main secrets of winter bees has been revieled 60 years ago. Germans made researches about nutrition of bees, amino acids and so on.  60 years ago it was known that the more protein in bee body, the better wintering.

 Google is full of researches about bee wintering. You need not only invent the key words how to find the information.

And to you Rbdy, get a life.

Yes, I found a new species. I read it from Beemaster. So simple.
.

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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2012, 12:00:49 AM »

.
Dr de Groot published his profound results of bee nutrition year 1953. They have been made so well that results  are valid still now. Dr was born in Austria but made his main works in Germany.

Still now the amino acid studies are very expencive. 60 years ago analytics must have been quite difficult when compared to modern apparatus. There are quite few knowledge about pollen nutrition values of plant species, and the reason must be a huge price.

 It is not easier to make analytics from bees.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2012, 12:18:10 AM »

** He published his first letter 2006. Revolution among hobby beekeepers to meet a scientic beekeeper.**

 yes for a american bee journal-are you published  huh
finski he dose the recherché and compiles it for our benefit-the works of many are represented
by all means provide me with another source- Smiley if you can find one that puts the time and effort
for the needs of todays beekeeper i will consider it

**Have you born then?**
yes but no hive tool in hand- Wink


**60 years ago it was known that the more protein in bee body, the better wintering.**
yes yes yes-finally -thank-you -what took so long you are onboard- cheesy
 Wink
RDY-B
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rdy-b
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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2012, 12:20:07 AM »

.
Dr de Groot published his profound results of bee nutrition year 1953. They have been made so well that results  are valid still now. Dr was born in Austria but made his main works in Germany.

Still now the amino acid studies are very expencive. 60 years ago analytics must have been quite difficult when compared to modern apparatus. There are quite few knowledge about pollen nutrition values of plant species, and the reason must be a huge price.

 It is not easier to make analytics from bees.


 now you are making some sense to me---- cheesy 

 http://www.apidologie.org/index.php?option=com_solr&task=search&input_1=schmickl++crailsheim&countDiv=1&website=1&articles_sci=1&search_in=journal&journal=apido&from=module
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Finski
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« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2012, 12:38:03 AM »

**
**Have you born then?**
yes but no hive tool in hand- Wink



i hope that you had a tit in hand and not a bottle. 

ok, you seems to be an old fart  and angry like a bull
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« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2012, 08:29:55 PM »

I remember reading/hearing/making up in my head, that winter bees are fed more royal jelly and that that's what gives them their longevity.

Now I'm going to have to look back through my stuff and see if I can find where I got that notion.
This is how my brain works! Isn't it fun?!?
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2012, 02:30:59 AM »

http://westmtnapiary.com/winter_cluster.html

"A “winter” bee is produced at the end of the summer.  It is physiologically different than the summer bee, with a different hemolymph (blood) protein profile than the summer bee.   Winter bees also have fatter bodies which they rely for nourishment during the non-foraging months.  A winter bee will live much longer (4 to 6 months) than a summer bee (45 days)."
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« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2012, 03:41:02 AM »

http://westmtnapiary.com/winter_cluster.html

"A “winter” bee is produced at the end of the summer.  It is physiologically different than the summer bee, with a different hemolymph (blood) protein profile than the summer bee.   Winter bees also have fatter bodies which they rely for nourishment during the non-foraging months.  A winter bee will live much longer (4 to 6 months) than a summer bee (45 days)."


that text says actually nothing but they are different. Of coursethey are.
The writer is an ordinary beekeeper. Not a researcher.

But we know too that if bees  cannot bee in winter rest in cluster, they will not survive to next summer. Mosty glass hives in warm house will perish.

In my latitude winter bee live 8-9 months.

One thing is strange. When my  boy was little, i often took an extra queen and 10 workers into the cage and brought them home to capital city. They lived allways  in cage only 2-3 days. In summer associate bees live 10 days.

About royal jelly


every worker larva is feeded with royal jelly  during its 3 first days.
When the worker emerge, during 3-5 first days a bee eate lots of pollen to finish it growth. An emerged bee does not have fat body and it will be developed with this pollen eating. The message is that pollen must be in the hive all the time. Workers will be miserable winterer  if they do not get enough pollen.  patty is not good enough in that purpose.
Bees will eate teir larvae if the pollen store is finish.
 
As much as I understand no one feed wintered bees when they emerge. Every bee takes care themselves. Of course they change food and so deliver the the messagethat the queen exist.

Once I tried to reviele out the diffence of bee size with weighing. An empty bee's weight is about 100 mg and full of honey it is 170 mg. 

how I get empty bees? I took an just emerging bee but it was 140 mg. Yes, it was feeded allready when it made a tiny hole though the cell cap.

It is better find researcher's text where origin is university. They have time to wonder things. Google seems to be full of vivid imagination writings like "secret of long living". Pollen sellers write what ever.
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« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2012, 05:43:04 AM »

.
It was year 2002/3 (i suppose)  I lost 60% of my  hives. Same happened on vast area in Finland, Sweden and Germany.  Reason was that the late summer was extremely dry and hives get not enough good quality pollen.  further more it appeared in my yards apistan resistant mites. Trees unsucceeded to drop they leaves in Autumn because the cell organ which loosens the leaf out, was dryed up.

Same happened a while ago on some island of western coast  USA or Canada. The island lost 90% of hives. Report said that summer was very dry.


I  have understood too that pollen stores is a key to resist winter nosema.

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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2012, 12:43:15 AM »

Quote
In my latitude winter bee live 8-9 months.

Yeah, we know.
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2012, 03:24:31 PM »

how I get empty bees? I took an just emerging bee but it was 140 mg. Yes, it was feeded allready when it made a tiny hole though the cell cap.

Finski, I know you like to observe your bees a lot.  Did you witness the bees making this whole and feeding the bee inside? 

I just ask because when I see a small hole in one of my brood caps, I think mites.  But if you did see them doing this and feeding the bee inside, it would give me something new to look for.
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2012, 08:35:55 PM »

how I get empty bees? I took an just emerging bee but it was 140 mg. Yes, it was feeded allready when it made a tiny hole though the cell cap.

Finski, I know you like to observe your bees a lot.  Did you witness the bees making this whole and feeding the bee inside?  

I just ask because when I see a small hole in one of my brood caps, I think mites.  But if you did see them doing this and feeding the bee inside, it would give me something new to look for.

 i think hes talking about the bee hatching -it starts as small hole and bee works its way out-that is how he knew it had not eating(except for what was under the capping) -he watched it hatch-that way he could take the bees weight as a bee with empty gut-i think he would have to do it about 10 times and then see if the number was the same every time-  :loll: for what ever reason he needed to know this information -I DUNO--  Wink -----


 Im trying to verify the number finski gave(140 milligram) as BEE WEIGHT of bee with empty stomach
the numbers Im getting for BEE WEIGHT of average Honey bee--are 90-100 milligrams--professor finski
can you shed some light as to why your bees are so heavy--was it a DRONE--- Wink---or maybe it was a HENWEIGH-- cheesy  RDY-B
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Finski
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« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2012, 02:35:18 AM »


the numbers Im getting for BEE WEIGHT of average Honey bee--are 90-100 milligrams--professor finski
can you shed some light as to why your bees are so heavy--was it a DRONE--- Wink---or maybe it was a HENWEIGH-- cheesy  RDY-B

you are so funny  . It might be  a bleep flye. Who cares.

when a bee has empty stomach, it weight is about 100 mg. (read more from internet)
With full stomach, like a swarm bee, weight is 170 mg.
And other bees are between those. I like big bees. Even 80 mg bees exist.

I read from Internet that weight of queen and drone is from 170 mg upwards.

My profession does not depend on bees' weight, how much they have  food inside.  cool

what was the great idea in this discussion, I do not know.

I bought a accurate balance to search can I use a bee size when I breed hives.
After several measuring I did not find enough diffencies to use information in selection.

Somehow eys tell different story than a balance. That is strange. A colony is too a big mixture of different bees, and when queen mate, they use more or less the same genepool in this area.

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« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2012, 01:43:16 PM »

yes balance hives are very popular these days--why dont you post pics and some data
like Allen dick -Im sure you read his diary-or are the bees to far away when it is honey flow
I would like to see the incredible gains you get from your superior pastures --- cheesy ---RDY-B
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« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2012, 02:28:48 PM »

.
My balance hive's data is in internet and I have linked it in Beemaster forum too.
Now with this mobile  I cannot do it.

Incredible and superior, they are your words. Not mine.
There is nothing where you can use that information.
In last summer my balance hive had 5 langstrots + 4 mediums.
It was an average hive. Yield season lasted 6 weeks. It was exceptional.
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« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2012, 06:04:35 PM »

At any rate it would be something we would enjoy to see-- Smiley RDY-B
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« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2012, 06:59:22 PM »

Moving right along I have too ASK
what is??.....
what makes it happen?? .......
Quote
Winter bee, life-span



Happy Hour

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« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2012, 08:42:19 PM »

Moving right along I have too ASK
what is??.....
what makes it happen?? .......
Quote
Winter bee, life-span



Happy Hour

Tommyt

  HI tomy I hope this answers your quetions-- cheesy

**  A “winter” bee is produced at the end of the summer. It is physiologically different than the summer bee, with a different hemolymph (blood) protein profile than the summer bee.   Winter bees also have fatter bodies which they rely for nourishment during the non-foraging months.  A winter bee will live much longer (4 to 6 months) than a summer bee (45 days).  The sole purpose of the winter bee is to get the colony through 'til spring.  In the fall as the hive prepares for the long winter months ahead, the bee population drops as the summer bees die off, replaced by the smaller winter cluster. Brood production stops. When the outside temperature is above 50°, bees take cleansing flights as they do not defecate inside the hive **
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T Beek
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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2012, 10:19:36 AM »

I've asked the same question before. 

"What" causes the 'trigger' to be pulled, turning a summer bee into a winter bee?  Is it temperature?  Is it length of day?  Lack of nectar or pollen?

Obviously, bees in south Florida wouldn't be making winter bees, or would they? 

This is the answer I've been seeking for awhile.  Any ideas?

thomas
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rdy-b
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« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2012, 01:37:41 PM »

the brood nest makes its turn when rounds of brood that are being hatched get feed larger and more potent
 amounts of bee milk-this starts the biological reaction in the new bee-vitellogene reserves go up and are stored
 in body fat this in combination with lees flight time give the new bee its longevity-it is a biological reaction to what they
 are being feed by nurse bees that start the process-they have used controlled environments and it is possible to produce a long lived bee in the sumer months--remember there is a economic cost to the colony to produce the extra rich nourishment-
also the wings of the bee only last short period of time during heavy fly periods-the trigger for the nurse bees to start the regime of protein rich feeding is in the bees nature-much like swarming-many things going on for them to react to
environment has a huge impact on the bees predestined urge to survive--to put it in more simpler tearms its THE BROOD FOOD-- cheesy RDY-B
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« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2012, 02:00:34 PM »

Quote
"What" causes the 'trigger' to be pulled, turning a summer bee into a winter bee?  Is it temperature?  Is it length of day?  Lack of nectar or pollen?
I don't know.  I would say it's probably the length of the day because the temperature would be too erratic, and dearth would set them to building winter clusters whenever there would be drought.  Like Rdy-b says in the last post, "they have used controlled environments and it is possible to produce a long lived bee in the sumer months--remember there is a economic cost to the colony to produce the extra rich nourishment".

Plants and chickens use photo period, I can't see bees not using it.  Another clue would be the bees starting to produce brood after the solstice.  Rdy, do you have a reference for the study where they make the long lived bees ?
 
Since plant photo period depends on the length of the light shining, I could say it's not just the "days getting longer," rather the length of the daylight.  I remember the day ending at 6:00 PM in winter when I was in Florida, here in Tennessee it ends at 4:30 at the start of January.

I know I'm closer to the time zone line between Eastern and Central, but it's dramatic enough to surprise me when I wake up and the sun's already up.

I have to congratulate Finski, your posts are readable all the sudden.  I would expect an "Angst-ridden" diatribe by now.
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T Beek
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« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2012, 03:13:33 PM »

OK, if winter bees are triggered by day length and NOT temp, one could assume when abnormally warm temps 'follow the birth' of winter bees like this past season, say after the solstice, those winter bees then must either revert back to foragers (w/ nothing remaining to forage in the north) and/or are doomed to a 45 day?? lifespan instead of a 6-7 month one?? huh 

I'm asking because this season fits the description well.  I had bees flying (seeking forage) well into November when they should have been in cluster already, due to abnormal weather.  And the above avergage warm weather has continued through today.  Honeystores are mostly gone already and my bees have little more than sugar to get them through until Spring, still a good four months away for us Sad.   It doesn't look good for my 'winter' bees, but they are a tough bunch cool

I would suspect that a bee in a controlled environment wouldn't be putting on the kind of miles a normal forager would.  Which leads to the other question or possibility.  Is it the fewer miles traveled that allows the winter bee to live so long? 

One would certainly think so.

thomas
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rdy-b
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« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2012, 04:10:41 PM »

**Rdy, do you have a reference for the study where they make the long lived bees ?**

 I will try to chase it down-all this has been rehashed from other posts with plenty of studies

**and/or are doomed to a 45 day?? life-span instead of a 6-7 month one?**
 
as long s there are resources -they will continue to be long lived
resources meaning high vitelogene and body fat levels -as well as beebread
the bees use the protein reserves of there own bodies to maintain biological balance of winter bee metabolism

** Is it the fewer miles traveled that allows the winter bee to live so long?**

this has a lot to do with it yes-but change in bees metabolism is key--but dose no advantage if bees wings wear out
this is the reason bees die in the first place-(baring all the reasons for early demise)

 T beek if the bees fly like your experiencing -when they are normally in winter confinement
 i would also take a chance and say they are rearing some brood--Have you look for brood
just keep them HEAVY and its all good-bees adapt to the changes mother nature provides--Its in there nature
 
 cheesy RDY-B
   
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Finski
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« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2012, 04:29:10 PM »

.
Winterbees are not only what happends in the hive in late summer.

Bees know from shortening day lenght that autumn is coming.
- they do not swarm any more
- they kill drones
- they do not rear drones and they do not draw dronecombs.
- old queen stops layiing (here) 2 weeks earlier than same summer queen.


Lack of flowers and lack of pollen strengten their instinct that it is time to prepare for winter.

Cold nights inform too what is happening. Small nucs stop brood rearing. Drones will be killed after cold nights.


Same happens in all nature. Nature does dot survive over winter if it does not prapare.
Honeybee or winter bee are not something special, when we look a bigger picture.

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« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2012, 05:05:33 PM »

That's a great question rdy-b. 

Unfortunately, as warm as its been (mid-forties in January is 'exceptionally' warm for us, plenty warm for northern bees to fly around) its not warm enough for me to risk going that deep inside. 

However, the bees I see at the inner cover hole licking up the sugar and those flying about sure look like young bees, even the bees I find dead in the snow 'appear' to be young bees, w/ lots of fur, fat, golden and with perfect little wings Smiley.  I've brought several back to life already this year just by holding them in my hand for a few minutes.

Based on what I've read and observed in the past brood rearing has very likely begun again, and I'd think with the increased temps they're perhaps fooled into thinking the season is further along than it actually is and maybe the queen is laying MORE than she should BEEEE.  I don't know.  Lots of questions this winter that's for sure Undecided

thomas
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« Reply #42 on: January 13, 2012, 09:41:53 AM »

This has been a great discussion, ya'll.  Thanks so much! I learned a lot. 

These are my favorite kind of threads, where ya'll discuss/argue but don't bicker!  So informing!

Have a great weekend!

love,
ziffa
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