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Author Topic: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter  (Read 1959 times)

Offline c10250

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Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« on: February 07, 2012, 06:43:41 PM »
I had two double-deep hives going into winter here in Chicagoland. Both weighed about 140 on October 12th. Both are coming in right now at around 118 lbs give or take a pound.

So, my hives consumed around 22 lbs in 4 months, or about 5 1/2 lbs per month.  That number should skyrocket once brood rearing hits hard.

Not bad.  Both hives are well insulated with 2" foam.

I figure I have at least 40 lbs of stores in each hive, and 2 more months of Winter left.   Now if they can just manage to stay alive until mid April . . .

Hey Finski, how do those numbers compare with your climate?

Ken

Offline MTWIBadger

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 10:05:42 PM »
What kind of scale do you weigh you hives on?  Are they on a scale all the time or do you move them to weigh them?

Offline c10250

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 10:24:38 PM »
What kind of scale do you weigh you hives on?  Are they on a scale all the time or do you move them to weigh them?

It's a feed scale (platform scale).  I take the scale in for the winter.  I just ran it out to the hives today to get a quick check on their progress.


Offline derekm

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 10:05:33 AM »
effectiveness of insulation is in the detail

say more about "Both hives are well insulated with 2" foam."
is that just the roof,
or the sides and  the roof
 sides, the roof  and bottom
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 11:21:15 AM »

So, my hives consumed around 22 lbs in 4 months, or about 5 1/2 lbs per month.  That number should skyrocket once brood rearing hits hard.

Hey Finski, how do those numbers compare with your climate?

Ken

We had 4 hives on balance
Consumption from 1.11. - 20.3  
These are broodless months. First 3 have been measured by Seppo Korpela

Comparision lbs /month and deviation from 2,6 lbs

Carnica Lunz .....2,6 lbs      ... zero point
Carnica Bantin   ......3,0    ......   +15 %
Macedonica   ......  4,4    ....   +69 %  ......this died for over consumption
                
Finski h.............      3,2        +23 %

c10250 hive............5,5..........110%

« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 12:23:45 PM by Finski »
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Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 12:22:48 PM »
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The food saver winner Carnica Lunz is propably a strain from Austian Bee Breeding Center in Lunz.
http://www.brownbook.net/business/31744694/aca-austrian-carnica-association-bienenzuchtverein
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Offline c10250

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 04:01:00 PM »
effectiveness of insulation is in the detail

say more about "Both hives are well insulated with 2" foam."
is that just the roof,
or the sides and  the roof
 sides, the roof  and bottom


Sides with 2" foam.  Top has an empty super above the inner cover stuffed with 8" of foam.


Offline c10250

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 04:05:26 PM »
....
Comparision lbs /month and deviation from 2,6 lbs

Carnica Lunz .....2,6 lbs      ... zero point
Carnica Bantin   ......3,0    ......   +15 %
Macedonica   ......  4,4    ....   +69 %  ......this died for over consumption
                
Finski h.............      3,2        +23 %

c10250 hive............5,5..........110%



Wow!  I thought my hive was running lean at 5.5 lbs/month.  Finski, those are some pretty impressive numbers.  Your Carnica Lunz bees are consuming 1/2 of what my carnis are consuming.

Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 04:09:25 PM »
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My inner cover insulation is 5-7 cm thick.

c10, do you know, does the hive had brood during that time?
Insulation cannot explain that high consumption.
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Offline c10250

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 08:41:38 PM »
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My inner cover insulation is 5-7 cm thick.

c10, do you know, does the hive had brood during that time?
Insulation cannot explain that high consumption.

Wow Finski, you think that's high?  I was quite impressed.  I though 5 lbs per month was good. They are Carnis, so I'm assuming the queen shut down.  Those are some lean bees you are working with.  What kind of breed are they?

Ken

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 10:28:46 PM »
If I recall correctly, Finski overwinters in a single deep.  So you may use more honey because you have more bees.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 01:12:38 AM »
If I recall correctly, Finski overwinters in a single deep.  So you may use more honey because you have more bees.

My balance hive had 2 deeps and a queen was Italian.  

but these all hives had solid bottom.

c10250 , what is your bottom and what is you ventilation system?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 01:28:38 AM by Finski »
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Offline c10250

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 09:06:31 AM »
If I recall correctly, Finski overwinters in a single deep.  So you may use more honey because you have more bees.

My balance hive had 2 deeps and a queen was Italian.  

but these all hives had solid bottom.

c10250 , what is your bottom and what is you ventilation system?

I'm running a SBB that is CLOSED for winter.  I do have a small upper entrance for ventilation.

THOUGHTS:  As someone mentioned, here in the Chicago area, there might be quite a large population of bees left in the hive in early October (say, 40,000).  If we are now down to 10, 000 in FEB, that's about a 10 lb drop in bees.  So instead of 5.5 lbs of stores per month, the bees only consume around 2.25 lbs per month.

Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 09:22:37 AM »
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Sounds a miserable explanation....but what relly happened in the hive, it is difficult to know afterwards.

When I have here normal hives at the first week of August, they are often 5 to 7 boxes and full of bees.
Brood are emerging high because the queen layed with full speed in main yield period in July.

Then yield on fields stops. Bees fly and search for flowers but they do not find much. In 3 weeks the summer bees die and I can push the colony to one or to two Langstroth box.

The cluster size is the same as brood cluster before brood breake. Normally my hives have not much brood at the beginning of September and combs are free to be filled with winter food.

If varroa load is bad, they may destroy over half of winter bees when they emerge.

Winter food consumption weighing seems simple but it is not.
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Offline derekm

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 10:00:53 AM »
...  I do have a small upper entrance for ventilation.
...

That explains a lot...
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2012, 10:16:31 AM »
...  I do have a small upper entrance for ventilation.
...

That explains a lot...


I have too in every wintering hive.
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Offline derekm

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2012, 10:19:00 AM »
...  I do have a small upper entrance for ventilation.
...

That explains a lot...


I have too in every wintering hive.
but if I remember correctly your vent is  is half way down - detail is important
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 11:24:10 AM »
but if I remember correctly your vent is  is half way down - detail is important
Yes, you quite remember correctly, but I have several installions. Mostly hole is in 1:2 position. Now I have renewed upper entrances so that it is inside the handle inset.

In two box wintering hive I keep the upper entrance open only in the first box.


When weather is cold bees have tendency to collect themselves into the inset. So I thought that it is natural place to the entrance.
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Offline Finski

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2012, 11:30:19 AM »
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I must tell about cases in last September. My aim was to move several hives to my home yard from woods but for continuous rain the action delayed one month. I had migrative mesh on the hives and there was quite a ventilation draft in the hives.

Results wereunspeakable. Hives consumed in one month half year wintering food. I believed that they were robbed but the heat simply escaped from the hive.

I gove to the hives crystallized honey frames for winter  food and that is why I could keep them in woods so long.
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Offline derekm

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Re: Hives lost around 22 lbs so far this winter
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 04:26:00 PM »
I had two double-deep hives going into winter here in Chicagoland. Both weighed about 140 on October 12th. Both are coming in right now at around 118 lbs give or take a pound.

So, my hives consumed around 22 lbs in 4 months, or about 5 1/2 lbs per month.  That number should skyrocket once brood rearing hits hard.

Not bad.  Both hives are well insulated with 2" foam.

I figure I have at least 40 lbs of stores in each hive, and 2 more months of Winter left.   Now if they can just manage to stay alive until mid April . . .

Hey Finski, how do those numbers compare with your climate?

Ken
in published figures for insulated hives in Norway, they consumed 8 to 11kg for the entire winter.  40 lbs of stores is basically alot of chemical  heat , that heat has to go somewhere... if not out the roof and sides, it has to go out the vent.... bees obey the laws of thermodynamics... the same as steam engines  spaceship, ants, the sun the stars and the planet.  You are running at over twice the heat loss you could do.
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?