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Author Topic: Over Wintering  (Read 5989 times)

Offline thegolfpsycho

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Over Wintering
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2005, 03:54:40 PM »
There are a few things I do to prepare the colonys for winter.  I reduce the entrances and have a vent cut into my inner covers.  I try to equalize stores among the colonys and feed if necessary to top them off.  I staple a wrap of roofing felt around the hives to help with solar gain.  I usually make up some fondant just in case winter hangs on a little longer than usual.  I like to give them a rap during the winter and listen for a growl to indicate all is well.  Then lift an end and guestimate how their stores are holding out.

Offline beemaster

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Over Wintering
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2005, 10:12:04 PM »
There is a lot here already covered, so I'll try not to repeat anything already said....

I find the two most important issues are WIND and HUMIDITY. Tackle these and you should have no problem.

1) No matter what insulating materia you usel, you need a way to let moisture escape from the hive and 2) remember that the outside temperature and inside temps are very similar "MINUS" windchill.

If you can get the hives OUT OF THE WIND and in a location where any trapped moisture has a chance of disapating, then you have GREATLY increased your chances of creating an enviroment which your bees can survive in even the coldest climates.

Good luck :)
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Offline Finsky

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Over Wintering
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2005, 01:40:46 AM »
Quote from: beemaster

I find the two most important issues are WIND and HUMIDITY. Tackle these and you should have no problem.



YES that is the most important and difficult. With my 43 years experience those 2 cause still troubles for me. One point is hive's sensitiveness for nosema.

I tryed with  wire mesh bottom but on my windy place it caused 50% increase in food consumtion. One died and 2 was nearby , and 6 was in my experience.  What a loss!

When we have snow plenty and hives are covered with snow nosema kills a lot of bees from hive. When snow is 30 cm and entrence is free to open air there is very few bees died on the bottom.

But I do not try to be 100% good beekeeper.  I keep 20% extra hives and I sleep calmly all our long winter.  Most troubles become when queens have got nosema, not one but 2-3 of my 15 hives.  

Also I will get trouples if all my hives are healty at spring. So I have too much hives and lack of boxes and too much honey to sell.

Offline Matz

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Over Wintering
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2005, 03:36:25 AM »
Thanks too everyone for all the advice.  I guess my ladies should be alright since over insulated is better than under insulated.  They have plenty off food, fed them 5 gallons of sugar water along with the recommended dose of  Oxysol, doses of AFB med and varroa strips (removed after treatment).  Couldn't even lift the hive.  Reduced bottom entrance and 3x5 top entrance.  Started with 4 hives this year to get the hang of it, 2 got hit by bear 1 got robbed and want to make sure my strongest hive pulls through cold winter.  Next year will be so much easier when I go bigger, either 20 or 40, only they will all be behind electric fence guarded by my Bison.  Since I will be able to wrap hives in groups of 4 I can just purchase the adequate wraps and pillows from local co-op.  Now I just gotta hit my carpentry shop and wack of a bunch of complete hives and nuc hives.  Once again, thanks for all the info, the people, info and help from this forum is incredible.

Offline Dale

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Over Wintering
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2005, 10:03:31 AM »
What I have done that helps eliminate humidity is let my "Miller" type feeders on.  I wrap them up with tarpaper, I leave the SBB open, and reduce entrance.  I said this before, the bees dont heat the hive, rather the inside of the cluster.  As long as you do not have major updrafts, and you left enough stores, and did something with the mites, you should be ok. Bees have been around for a million years, and they know what to do.
Dale Richards
Dal-Col Apiaries
Drums, PA
www.hazleton.net/users/dalcol

Offline BEECANUCK

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Over Wintering
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2005, 02:02:56 AM »
Matz- I have a relative up in The Pas who has a big operation so if your still wondering I can give you his name so you can contact him.

Offline Matz

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Over Wintering
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2005, 02:31:59 AM »
Thanks Beecanuck, I appreciate it, but I've recently been talking to some locals around my area and my friend in Neepawa.  I think I should be ok for now.  Thanks again...