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Author Topic: How Many Bees  (Read 2326 times)
BlueBee
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« on: November 13, 2012, 08:07:24 PM »

OK, beeks, how many bees do you reckon were alive in this queen mating nuc before they froze out last week? 



This mating nuc holds 4 frames that are basically half medium in size.  Each frame is about 8” wide by 6.25” deep (20cm x 16cm).   



Technically they starved, ALL the stores were gone.





So how many bees do your reckon were in this mating nuc?  How many would I need to survive a winter?  (Assuming they did have food)
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 08:32:14 PM »

Sorry for your loss Blue. Came across this today.

http://www.beesource.com/resources/elements-of-beekeeping/success-with-heated-hives-over-winter/

Cheers,
Drew
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tefer2
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 09:22:54 PM »

Not enough to keep warm. I don't think that we can winter a box that small here. Could be wrong but would want it two story.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 12:41:06 PM »

Mike Palmer of French Hill Apiaries, St. Albans, VT. (This as on the Canada bounder)


http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,39426.msg332018.html#msg332018

Mike Palmer 4/2011 The Sustainable Apiary Part 1 of 2 on Vimeo

Mike Palmer2 4/2011- The Sustainable Apiary Part 2 of 2 on Vimeo
 

      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 06:06:29 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

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tefer2
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 01:06:54 PM »

/
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 07:44:38 PM by tefer2 » Logged
BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 01:12:24 PM »

What?  Hasn’t anybody tried to guess how many jelly beans are in a glass jar before? 

So how many dead bees?  BTW….I DO know the answer, I counted them  grin

Most of my mating nucs died out due to a stupid mistake on my part (migratory covers) that let rain water in and turned them into bee swimming pools.  However I do have 5 of these little nucs still alive.  My plan was to move these into 2” (50mm) foam mini nucs before winter, but I ran out of time.  They are under insulated IMO and the top entrance is going to be bad for them.  I did leave about 3/4” (19mm) of space above the frames for feeding.  Maybe I’ll have to try T Beeks method and dump some sugar into these things?
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tefer2
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 01:20:51 PM »

BlueBee, in the picture you are using three 1/2 frames in there, right.
I have not had any make it in five full size frames in only one poly box down here.
I think it has to do more with the volume of bees needed to keep the cluster warm.
I've had some make it in wooden full size five frame two story though. The second story was full of stores with a candy brick too.
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tefer2
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 01:25:10 PM »

Ha Ha, I can't see the other side of the frames so I'll guess. 150 bees
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BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 02:01:10 PM »

Yep, that 4th frame is sitting behind the box in photo 2.  I’ve had some pretty small colonies/nucs survive winter in foam nucs, but I haven’t tried any this small yet.  The mating nucs were designed so the bees could form a winter ball and they did span 3 frames in this nuc.  They are almost cube shaped. 

This nuc was TOTALLY void of honey.  I moved these to a new yard in late summer and now I’m wondering if maybe that hurt them storing up for winter.  The comb didn’t look like it had been robbed out.  I have other mini mating nucs that are just loaded up with honey on these mini frames. 

150 bees is a good guess, but there are more in there than I first thought too.  Keep the guesses coming  Smiley 
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tefer2
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 02:09:44 PM »

It would be great if you can figure out how to keep those small ones alive through winter. It would keep me from having to figure out what to do with all mine each fall.
Four frames huh! 367 then.
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hardwood
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 03:52:34 PM »

I'm going to guess..."not enough."

Scott
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BlueBee
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 04:06:49 PM »

Scott  grin

Tefer, figuring out what to do with the queen mating hardware over winter is something I’m debating too.  I hate to have hardware just sitting around collecting dust.  I kind of regret going with these half frame mating boxes.  They work fine for mating, but they are a pain in the butt to populate in the spring and what do you do with them over winter?  

I suspect enough foam or some electric heat could get them through winter, but I’m now thinking of moving to full sized medium frames for mating.  Seems like there are more options for using the medium frames at the end of the season.  Easier to populate in the spring too....if they can't be overwintered.  

What do you use for mating?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 04:07:37 PM »

Four frames huh! 367 then.

You're still too low  grin
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windfall
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 05:01:02 PM »

Did you really count them or just estimate after counting some! It's hard to tell how big the pile at the bottom is but guessing is free so......500?

Seems like an obvious solution would be to combine and stack several together for the winter. I think that is what mike Palmer and Kirk Webster do at summers end(combine not stack as they use divided deeps if i recall)
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GLOCK
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 05:17:01 PM »

757 ?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2012, 05:31:02 PM »

You know I don’t always do the obvious. Smiley 

I have read a lot of what Mike Palmer does in Vermont over on BeeSource, but these mating frames are only 1/2 the width of a medium frame so I can’t combine them in a normal hive.  Requires some more custom hardware.  Last year I did combine them into custom half frame super nucs holding 13 frames per layer.  They wintered great in all my foam however that system requires extra work and extra equipment. 

Oh yes, I did count every single bee!  Seriously.  You’re all still too low! 
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windfall
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« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2012, 05:37:17 PM »

But can't you stack them? Or is the bottom intigrated?
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windfall
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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 05:45:13 PM »

Counted them all!!! I admire the thoroughness of your curiosity and envy the spare time to indulge it
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BlueBee
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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2012, 06:13:13 PM »

Yeah, the bottoms are glued and screwed! 

I was saying to myself......as I was counting the bees, I really don’t have time to be counting dead bees…..for heaven’s sake!  But curiosity did get me the best of me and I finished the job.  There was really more bees than I expected so I did learn something.   Then I was up until 3am getting the rest of my daily tasks done…… scratch that ….. I never really get anything DONE.  It’s a battle.
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windfall
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2012, 06:38:07 PM »

Well, surely you could make some bottomless boxes to go on top faster than you can count dead bees.

By the way not sure what your present foam techniques are, but I had very good success with plain old aliphatic resin (wood glue) bonding foam to wood...way easier, cleaner, and cheaper than polyurethane.
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