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Author Topic: Last chance to take a look!  (Read 1175 times)
tefer2
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« on: November 09, 2012, 01:10:49 PM »

Temps to be in the sixties here in Michigan this weekend. I'm glad I'll have a chance to look into all those nucs one last time. I have 40 frames of stores that I held back for this very purpose. So happy that I have the chance for a peek. One last thing to worry about this winter.
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danno
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 03:19:44 PM »

I hope your wrong.   I want winter this year but it would be nice if it would wait until say Xmas.   
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 03:38:59 PM »

I've been out working the girls all afternoon!  My jumbo hives are really packing the bees.  I had one layer of supers on them from my last harvest and I'm thankful to get those off before the permanent cold sets in.  Off to my next bee yard to put them to bed too. 

Agree with Danno, sure would be nice to have some more decent weather before xmas.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 06:39:57 PM »

Iím bummed tonightÖ... Sad Sad Sad Sad Sad  I think I'll just turn off the brain and watch Gold Rush to make my problems look small.

The bees in my original yard are doing great, but my farm girls arenít doing so well. Sad  Iíve already suffered about 10 losses and winter has just barely begun!  The losses were all in Nucs and mating nucs.  Iíve got a mishmash of designs Iím experimenting with so Iíve got bees in all sorts of configurations.  Most are in polystyrene boxes, but some are in wood boxes, some have opened screened bottoms, some have top entrances, some have bottoms, some have both, some have telescoping covers, some donít.  

I was lazy (actually too busy, but I figure y'all might believe lazy more Wink) and left my migratory tops on my mating nucs.  That was a disaster.  This is the 2nd time Iíve made this mistake.  The result is a foam box full of rain water and ice. Sad  A drain hole might have been a good idea too Undecided  I have a few nucs with open screened bottoms that froze to death already.  Not doing that again either.  

It's always pretty amazing when you have a dead out in a foam box.  Without living bees in there to make heat, these foam boxes become ice chests!  It was nearly 50F/10C outside and about 5pm when I was checking my nucs, and there was still ice in them. shocked
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 06:51:35 PM by BlueBee » Logged
tefer2
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 07:29:10 PM »

Well I got started this afternoon too. Upper 50s here. Walked right up to a robbery scene right out of the gate. Was a very strong hive last week. Three medium boxes with 16 frames of capped stores left in there. No queen, brood, or bees. Just a few bees on bottom board. Not a good start to this task.
Danno, I hope you are right about having some nice weather ahead. You all set up there?

Blue, I closed up the bottoms on my nucs that had screens weeks ago. Had that happen two years ago and learned that lesson. Most of my mating nucs have a foam inner cover with a vent notch      covered by migratory top  They usually glue the crap out of the foam to keep the water out. If water did get in it would find a way to leak out through bottom. Never thought about them  becoming an ice cooler. I'm making some split poly boxes for the spring to try out. Maybe I should stick to wood.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 07:56:10 PM »

Thatís a real bummer to lose a strong hive this time of year.  Sorry for your loss.  At least all the yellow jackets are dead around my place.  Well, I take that back, I saw 1 YJ in one of my deadout nucs.  Might have been a queen, I squished her.

I think Iíve got 6 mating nucs that are still alive and looking pretty good.  They have 4 mini frames, with a total comb area of about 1.6 medium frames.  They do have a top entrance, Iíll have to upload a photo one of these days.  Iím thinking I may switch these over to just a bottom entrance next year to avoid turning them into bee swimming pools.  I avoided drilling a hole in the bottom this year to reduce convection losses in the winter.  Bottom only entrance is probably a better way to go all around with small colonies.

I know better than to use open bottom screens in Michigan.  I just got too busy to close them up this year.  Learned my lesson the hard way on that one.   
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tefer2
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 08:19:29 PM »

All my nucs are built up to 2 stories on the fall flow most years. I always save a few boxes honey to add to them just in case. I also have them in a few different styles playing around. I usually learn the hard way and that was the plan for making extra this fall. I just supply them with a box and some frames and a home raised queen. I've been making them up in July and pulling frames to make more and keep them from swarming on me. They will come in handy come springtime. Not as bad to lose a nuc compared to a whole hive. Good luck to both of us.
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danno
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 05:24:23 PM »

I'M DONE!!!!!   candy boards in,   insulation in vent boxes in   most look good    i think i might change my mite program abit.    spring time will tell
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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 02:12:46 AM »

I'M DONE!!!!!   candy boards in,   insulation in vent boxes in   most look good    i think i might change my mite program abit.    spring time will tell

Candy boards is not wintering food.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 02:50:06 AM »

I was told by a commercial bee keeper around me (500 hives), that the secret to wintering success around here is a candy board.  All his hives are wood.  I donít use candy boards or sugar for overwintering but 90% of my hives are polystyrene.  Maybe I should have had a candy board on my wood nucs that just croaked  Undecided 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 03:05:27 AM »

Hereís a photo of my queen mating nucs when assembled into an apartment house.  This was taken in the spring.


While the apartment house seemed like a good compact design on paper, it presented a number of problems in practice so I ended up just setting each individual mating nuc on benches instead.  Hereís some in early September.  Note: they just have migratory like wood covers on them.  This is what failed and killed off most in Oct/Nov.  In the apartment configuration, those wood tops are covered by foam and there is a drip edge to keep the rain water from running under the tops.  

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tefer2
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 08:35:21 AM »

You are like me and like your nucs up high off the ground. Makes them easier to work and is not so hard on the back. Are those 1/2 frames in your nucs?
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 07:23:25 AM »

I'M DONE!!!!!   candy boards in,   insulation in vent boxes in   most look good    i think i might change my mite program abit.    spring time will tell

Candy boards is not wintering food.
You are right.   I use them for emerg. food.   If the cluster starts to high and eats there way to the cover, these will keep them alive.   
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tefer2
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 07:35:08 AM »

I also place emergency candy on most of my hives too. Mine are more of a candy brick that are made in a brownie size pan. I place these on made up screened spacers around Thanksgiving.
They are not our first choice of winter feed, but will keep a hive alive if needed.
The left overs are used in spring to make syrup.
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