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Author Topic: Winters finally here !  (Read 4565 times)

Offline tefer2

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Winters finally here !
« on: December 31, 2011, 08:49:57 AM »
Well, it sounds like we are going to get 4 to 6 inches of snow Sunday. Time to mount the plow, find the shovels, and dig out the snowblower. I was really enjoying all this southern type winter climate we are having up here.
I'm not missing the snow this year but the ski resort sure is.

Offline BjornBee

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2011, 08:58:24 AM »
You need to slide on over to Wisconsin Fells, and slide down the slopes on those indoor heated, water rides. That's the type winter fun I'm talking about!  :-D
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 10:58:18 AM »
62F and blue skies today.  But I understand it might drop below freezing later in the week.   :evil:
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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 11:16:06 AM »
Looks like we're going to get a breath of winter for the new year, too.  I'm wondering what it will do to the camellias that are blooming...probably burn them pretty bad.   Ah well, the whites are about through but the red ones are just coming on. :-\

At least we're bumping up into the 50's during the daytime and eventually back into the 60's.   Ed

Hi 69 °F     Saturday (today)
Lo 52 °F    Saturday
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Lo 32 °F   Sunday
Hi 53 °F   Monday
Lo 25 °F   Monday
Hi 50 °F   Tuesday
Lo 21 °F   Tuesday
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Offline Vance G

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 12:46:47 PM »
No luck here!  Winter is still AWOL and no moisture which we badly need.  Has no business being above freezing New Years eve.   But, the hive count is still the same and I know they have plenty of stores so life is good for now.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 09:49:52 AM »
We're 'finally' going to get below zero tonight and tommorrow, but a return to above freezing and possibly forties is in the forecast for later in the week. 

Warmest and dryest winter (and Fall) in my lifetime (going to be 61) and it hasn't been good for my bees (or snowmobile rs).

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Offline Michael Bach

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2012, 08:15:26 PM »
Cold today with below zero tonight.  Wont last long.....upper 40's for this weekend with no big snow storms in sight.

A bit of justice I guess.........cold summer with 80" of rain and a 2 feet of snow in late october that destoyed everything in sight.

Offline AllenF

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 08:17:47 PM »
Dang cold here.    And no snow.    I can take the cold if there is a reason for it like snow.   I am ready for spring.

Offline Vance G

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 09:38:31 AM »
It is 50 right now and the wind is howling.  Supposed to hit sixty.  Last year at this time we were in the deep freeze.

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 06:24:25 PM »
The rain has finally come back the the PNW.  Mid 40s during the day, 30s at night.

Had a great chance to check on hives this past weekend, we got into the upper 50s and sunny!  Unfortunately, we were still finishing up the Christmas rounds with family.

Who knows when I'll get my next chance!

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 07:41:37 PM »
I'd sure like a shot at some upper 50s temps for a quick look. I have a few that I'm worried about already.
They are talking mid-forties by Friday, good bye to all the home made snow at the ski hill. Glad I don't have any money in that place.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2012, 07:31:35 AM »
With a prediction of 47F I'm going in for a look today.

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Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2012, 08:53:48 AM »
21F yesterday at sunrise....41F this morning at sunrise...predictions for getting back into the low 70's this weekend......
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

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Offline danno

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2012, 09:01:03 AM »
You need to slide on over to Wisconsin Fells, and slide down the slopes on those indoor heated, water rides. That's the type winter fun I'm talking about!  :-D
I'm sure you ment to say Wisconsin Dells.  I grew up there on the castle rock flowage.  It was so quiet back then in the 60s.  Its got to big for my taste.

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2012, 09:13:15 AM »
Thomas, let us know how that went. Sounds like I may have a chance to check on those in question too.
Normally, there would be no way to open them this time of year. Going for it !

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2012, 03:14:18 PM »
40F w/ bright sunshine right now and I have bees flying, dropping yellow 'polka-dots' in the snow and dragging out the dead in both of my Langs colonies.  My LONG Hive isn't as active but it also has bees flying today.

January is 'typically' our coldest month in Northern Wisconsin (we're about 280 miles north of the above mentioned DELLS).  We should be in the middle of our annual deep freeze right now.  We should be below zero.

I'm going down to dump sugar (if needed) in my hives, won't be going any further than that today, since I already know they're alive :).

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Offline gailmo

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2012, 04:13:44 PM »
It is pushing 60° here.  I pulled some honey frames out of the freezer this morning and they have thawed.  I was thinking of opening up the top box and checking honey supplies....pulling empty frames and putting in honey filled frames.

Does that sound like a good plan.....or should I be dumping sugar instead and saving the honey frames for later in the season?


Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2012, 06:21:02 PM »
Definitely a good plan.  Just make sure those frames are fully thawed and at room temp before placing them inside hives.

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Offline gailmo

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2012, 06:29:34 PM »
Update from my message above!  I opened the hive this afternoon-- the temperature was hovering around 63°. The girls were mildly angry....but not as bad as when I was working them in late August before I left the country for three months.

I checked the top honey super and pulled about 5 empty frames on the edges of the super and replaced them with full frames of honey--it was fully thawed.  The center section of the super was full of bees and I didn't want to pull those frames because I felt like it would have been a major disturbance.  I used the bee brush to get all the bees off the pulled frames and buttoned the hive back up.  I left the plastic bag that had the honey frames from the freezer in it outside the hive because it had lots of honey smeared all over it.  The girls are still out taking advantage of this stuff right now since the temperature is still amazingly warm.

Hopefully this will tide them over for a few more weeks.  I still have about 3 full frames of honey in the freezer and if it gets warm again towards the end of January or early February, I will stick those in the top super.  Once that is gone....it is solid sugar until spring hits.

I have already lost one hive this winter....but I think it was because I was gone from late August until December and was unable to do any fall maintenance.  I think they swarmed in late summer because the hive was very full when I left...and then didn't requeen....when I got home and checked the hive....all I had left was a small ball of dead bees and a few frames with some honey.   So now I am building swarm traps and hopefully will get some new bees to add hives.  

Offline Vance G

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2012, 09:28:56 PM »
High winds and dry snowless prairies and a blown down power line has tens of thousands of acres burning in NW Montana.  Sparsely populated country but some buildings and hay stacks going up!  We need some cold and snow!

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2012, 10:52:04 PM »
Well, got out to check them yesterday with a high of 43 degrees and sunshine.
Was freaked out about the amount on front of the hives and around the area.
Remind me next time, to not park the truck so close. Bee Poo galore.
All had good stores still, just don't know for how long!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 12:04:02 AM by tefer2 »

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 11:47:42 PM »
tefer, if you hadn't parked so close, your truck would have been in the flight path.  Sounds like the bees just thought your truck needed decorating!  Congrats on the good weather so you could check them!

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2012, 08:35:08 AM »
Yeah, I shouldn't be complaining, the truck will wash off. Should be glad for the potty break. I have concerns that my emergency measures won't last till we can get some resources again.

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 04:32:35 PM »
tefer, I missed something...why don't you think your emergency measures will work?  What did you find in your hives?  Or is that a different thread?

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 09:19:18 PM »
 I may miss some that could use it up and starve.
We have been having all this warm weather here that is using up my stores.
Should change the title, Winters finally here Thursday
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 01:04:52 AM by tefer2 »

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2012, 12:02:19 PM »
CRAZY is the word for this winter.  N/W Wisconsin will see mid forties again today (it should be below zero).  When I last checked all my bees had left was sugar, honeystores are mostly gone.....until APRIL when the dandelions begin (unless this continues :-\. and brings about an 'equally' abnormal Spring. 

WE (my bees that is) may be doomed.  Since finding the sugar I've been noticing a steady 'darkening' of their poop stamps.


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Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2012, 12:18:17 PM »
Thomas, mine are getting lighter by the day too. I think that I have some honey still in there, but it's going fast.
I put two 5 lb. bricks on all of them now. I just have to keep checking the bricks to make sure they last me.
Headed to store for more sugar for back up bricks. Suppose to get back to winter here Thursday for us.
The poo stains on my truck are still lighter colored so far. Been there last winter with the dysentery issues.

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2012, 12:24:20 PM »
Yea, that's why I resupplied mine.  I let my guard down two years ago when I checked hives at this time and they all weighed in well.  Then the really nasty weather started where the bees couldn't fly.  I was blown away by how fast the stores went away.  Wasn't prepared with sugar on hand back then.

It still amazes me sometimes that my world now includes watching the color of bee poop!  :-P

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2012, 12:31:27 PM »
I ended up losing the ones that had the real dark staining on the hive entrances last winter. Nasty stuff.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2012, 01:53:44 PM »
Yeah, one of my three remaining colonies is leaving darker and much more prevelent stains on and around the hive.  The others seem to be going farther away, but it just might mean there are fewer bees remaining in those hives.  They were fairly equal in size and stores going into winter, but I'm certain the above (way above) average temps are causing great consumption of any stores, especially whenever they're able to 'break' cluster. 

Ideally, (in N/W Wisconsin) breaking cluster should only happen a (very) few times during our 6-7 month long winter when bees are confined, only allowing for 'rare' potty outings. 

"They just eat more when its this warm." 

I've read that there is a point (temperature) where bees will actually 'stop' consuming due to extreme cold.  A defense mechanism of sorts I suppose :-\ for surviving long winters. 

We've had 'one' night below zero so far, when our usual is a 'few weeks' staying below zero.  On a positive, I'll likely have enough firewood to take me well into next years heating season ;).

We have two vehicles, both white w/ yellow polka-spotches. 8-)

thomas
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Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2012, 11:52:32 PM »
Well, Its back to making snow balls tonight. Suppose to get between 4 and 10 inches, OH BOY!!! :oops:

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2012, 09:27:53 AM »
The more snow the better, both for me (and my septic tank) and the bees (I'll be shoveling snow around all the colonies today for added insulation).

thomas
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Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2012, 10:44:04 AM »
I understand the bee's, but why the septic tank?

Offline T Beek

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2012, 12:44:31 PM »
Really?  Don't have a septic system, heh? :-D

OK, a few winters ago we recieved 'no snow' until mid January, after going through two solid weeks of 20-30 BELOW ZERO. 

Our Septic Tank AND drain field both froze solid until April!!!

Good thing we still had an outhouse behind the garage to use.  We had to go to neighbors for showers.

So...........Bring on the snow, ideally 'before' the sub zero temps begin.

thomas
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Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2012, 04:20:00 PM »
Mine must be deeper, or we don't get as cold as you do there.

Offline danno

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2012, 07:33:16 PM »
put on 75#s of candy board today.  Need to make up at least 50#s more.   So far so good but I did have a few that wouldn't have lasted much longer.   Got several mid winter verom injections.   

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2012, 08:14:06 PM »
Most of my recent snow is melting today. I lost one that went queenless and ran out of brood last week.
I'm now keeping track of which hives that I have added candy bricks, and who will be needing more soon.
 I would normally not add my candy to them until late Feb. March.
Guess I should fell lucky that the weather will let us check them!

Offline tefer2

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2012, 08:29:15 PM »
danno, I got smarter after my last look into them. Went to Aldi's the next morning, and made a bunch of extras for later. Cheaper than buying more bee's.
I didn't get my winter injections, veil and some gloves for those pissy gals.

Offline danno

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2012, 09:21:12 PM »
danno, I got smarter after my last look into them. Went to Aldi's the next morning, and made a bunch of extras for later. Cheaper than buying more bee's.
I didn't get my winter injections, veil and some gloves for those pissy gals.
I did have my veil on as always but the bunched up hood of my sweatshirt gave them away in.   Also no gloves.   Only hurts for a second.

Offline salvo

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2012, 10:56:17 PM »
Hi Folks,

Plymouth county, Massachusetts here. Regular warm weather here until about nine days ago. Bees regularly out and about, with nothing to do. I set out sieves drizzled with honey on a few of those warm days. I've kept the sugar inside the hives. I had lots of bees ten days ago. I haven't disrupted the boxes since October (I apiguarded in September), just to pop the top for sugar. We're all concerned about running out of food.

My concern also is for moisture! It has been regularly in the 50's, with little precipitation. I have two hives. I insulated the sides slightly with landscape fabric (very breathable), and, I put a super with about 3 inches of wood shavings below my sbb, and one also above my inner cover. Entrances are reduced and "sheltered". I have small screened vent holes on the inner cover and the bees have been active at that hole when it has been warm. I think it has good, slow, consistent movement of air up and through the hive. It's dry as popcorn in the hive.

Should I be worried about too little moisture? It's in the single digits at night. Might hit 50's this coming weekend. How would you even "water" bees now?

Thanks,
Salvo

Or,,, should I tell you in the spring whether it was a good idea?
Salvo

Offline Intheswamp

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2012, 11:19:22 PM »
I'm just a newbee, but as long as they have honey/syrup in the combs I would think they're ok.   I would think that if they're flying then they're getting water somewhere if they need it.  As for providing water for them you could use a boardman feeder filled with plain water if you have one.  Otherwise, a pan of water with some pieces of wood/straw floating in it sitting close by?

Best wishes,
Ed
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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

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Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Winters finally here !
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2012, 03:57:47 PM »
When I bought a queen in June, the man who sold it to me made sure to show me how to keep them in good condition for the next day.  He dipped his finger in water and stroked it on the wire of the cage, filling 2 or 3 of the mesh holes.  I asked, "And how often should I do that?"  He said, "That should last them for 2 days."

One of the metabolic by-products of eating the honey is Water vapor.  Though they wont be able to fly, the water their bodies make from the sugars, condensation, and relative humidity should keep them in good shape.  Remember they've been kicking around a lot longer than we have, and nobody's "kept" them.  Even after we were kicking around Humans spent a lot of time robbing wild hives rather than managing them.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.