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Author Topic: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?  (Read 668 times)

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« on: November 03, 2012, 12:41:33 PM »
Drop the knowledge people  :)
Cheers,
Drew

Offline BlueBee

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 01:04:29 PM »
I haven’t done it, but if you read the old bee books (like CC Miller who lived in Ohio 100 years ago) you will get lots of valuable insight.  I can’t recall the exact temp CC Miller found to be optimal, but I believe it was in the 45 to 50F range.  You need total darkness (according to the old books) to be successful wintering indoors.  “Optimal” for CC Miller was survival rate AND minimum honey consumption.  He did state in his book that bees have a better survival rate at warmer temps (65F?), but they consumed more honey at those temps.  So what temp would be optimal for a modern beek might depend upon what he/she is more concerned with: living bees come spring, or minimum honey consumption? 

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2012, 02:01:40 PM »
1st year feral colony, SHB, moth survivor, stores questionable, long as the queen makes it I'm happy. I was thinking 45-47. My basement is too warm. Wish I had a barn. Might have to get creative.  :)
Cheers,
Drew

Offline AllenF

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 02:06:24 PM »
If they are low on stores, put dry sugar on top of the brood chamber on top of newspaper.  I would keep them outside.   A lot of trouble moving them inside. 

Offline tefer2

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 02:14:16 PM »
Just make up some candy bricks to place on top for emergency stores. Does it really get that cold where your at?

Offline AllenF

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 02:19:50 PM »
Dry sugar is easier to make.

Offline tefer2

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 02:35:07 PM »
Make sure you spray the dry sugar with water to clump it. The bees will haul it out as trash if left dry.
Brick recipe
5lb sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Heat water and vinegar to boil
Add sugar and heat to 242 degrees
Let cool to under 200 degrees
Stir till opaque, and pour into mold of choice
probably takes about 20 minutes to make.

Offline Finski

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Re: What is the optimal temperature for indoor overwintering ?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 02:51:26 PM »
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Wintering indoors needs
- dark
- temp under +7C
. artificial ventilation
- mesh floor is good

. without ventilation hives get bad nosema

When snow is in ground and bees get no drinking water, dry sugar is out of question on those latitudes

3W heater helps a lot and save food. It is better than indoor wintering.


One alternative is to put the colony over a big hive. It gets heat through the inner cover.

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