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Author Topic: Wintering Mating Nucs  (Read 7232 times)
Finski
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 09:40:31 AM »



I thought the whole point of this experiment was to learn.

The whole poin IN LEARNING is to read and listen how  others have succeeded before.

Learning is not that you repeat others' mistakes.

To repeat others mistakes, it has a name.

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I wonder about guys who encourage others to do such things what they never do to their own hives.

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« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 09:52:14 AM by Finski » Logged

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BjornBee
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 11:02:49 AM »

I thought the idea of a forum was to come here and hear from others, add input and your own experiences, debate, discuss, and expand one's knowledge, and even have an enjoyment factor thrown in.

I did not think it came with the demands of one person telling what one should or should not do, and even defining what everyone's definition of 'learning" should be. Sometimes learning is exactly that.....repeating others mistakes. There is more to learn than the final outcome, and perhaps something can be learned along the path of doing it for yourself, even if the final result is the same.

It does not come with telling another they are an idiot, in some round about manner, while rationalizing it as a language barrier.

It does not come with anything beyond offering advice and understanding each and every member has the choice to do what they want. If I had the freedom to call someone an idiot everytime they did something that I had previously done, while demanding they listen to me as I know best and better than them, I would think some might quit listening.  Wink

Just trying to help. Here is my hand.....smack away!

I'm just one ignorant American trying to help another ignorant American....or so it seems.
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Finski
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2012, 11:06:39 AM »

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Bjorn, you have the best experience to say that. No one can be so right as you can.

You are ridigulous.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2012, 11:11:22 AM »

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Bjorn, you have the best experience to say that. No one can be so right as you can.

You are ridigulous.

Thank you Finski. I've been called far worse....from You! grin

I will not bite with name calling. I know how the game is played.

My comments were really for others to read, and perhaps consider.

Take Care.
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Finski
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2012, 11:15:11 AM »

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Bjorn, you have the best experience to say that. No one can be so right as you can.

You are ridigulous.

Thank you Finski. I've been called far worse....from You! grin

I will not bite with name calling. I know how the game is played.

My comments were really for others to read, and perhaps consider.

Take Care.

what ever, you are right .

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BjornBee
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2012, 11:23:58 AM »

Bluebee
How do you make your "Honey balls"?
Thanks.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2012, 11:45:22 AM »

My comments were really for others to read, and perhaps consider.
They have been read and appreciated.  applause applause applause
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BlueBee
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2012, 11:48:31 AM »

Experimenting is an integral part of the scientific method.  Experimenting should not be criticized.  For anybody claiming they have expert “experience” wintering  mating nucs with only 600 to 1000 bees, please send us a link with evidence;  a forum post, photos, a paper trail.

I have searched the archives of BeeMaster and BeeSource and didn’t find any posts where this has been successful.  There are something like 300,000 posts on BeeMaster and 800,000 on BeeSource. 

Sure people successfully winter full sized mating nucs (5 deep frames) with thousands of bees; I have about 30 going right now.   My inquiry with this experiment was to see if a really small colony (under 1000 bees) can make it though winter with sufficient insulation. 

True knowledge is a combination of experience and theory.  Experience tells us the Earth is flat.  Mathematical theory tells us the Earth is round.  The Ancient Greeks used math and figured this out 1000 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Yeah…. I keep a healthy skepticism when people claim THEY know everything based on NN years “experience”.  It’s usually just another method of intimidation and putting people down.  People who are TRULY knowledgeable, back up their assertions with data.
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Finski
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2012, 12:22:20 PM »

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I have  a  education in biological researcher in university. The biggest value was during 5 year education that
find out, what others know about issue. Contact them and start there where others have finished.
Don't invent you own wheel.

If you believe that hobby is science, it is a big mistake.

I have wintered  2-frames nucs with 3 W terrarium heaters.
They survive alive well over winter but they are not able to start brooding.
1 frame nuc cannot keep brood area warm.
So they have only value of queen.
One way is to put 3 nucs over a big hive and they get heat from above =queen bank

These are simple things and no science.

Easier is to make 4-5 frame nucs than make a life difficult with 2-frame nucs.

.
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Finski
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2012, 12:27:57 PM »

Experimenting is an integral part of the scientific method.  Experimenting should not be criticized.  For anybody claiming they have expert “experience” wintering  mating nucs with only 600 to 1000 bees, .


That only tells that how small knowledge you really have about beekeeping. Nothing more.
It is not wise to rear 600 bee nucs even in summer. It is mere nuisance.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2012, 01:36:23 PM »

Experimenting is an integral part of the scientific method.  Experimenting should not be criticized.  For anybody claiming they have expert “experience” wintering  mating nucs with only 600 to 1000 bees, please send us a link with evidence;  a forum post, photos, a paper trail.

I have searched the archives of BeeMaster and BeeSource and didn’t find any posts where this has been successful.  There are something like 300,000 posts on BeeMaster and 800,000 on BeeSource.  

Sure people successfully winter full sized mating nucs (5 deep frames) with thousands of bees; I have about 30 going right now.   My inquiry with this experiment was to see if a really small colony (under 1000 bees) can make it though winter with sufficient insulation.  

True knowledge is a combination of experience and theory.  Experience tells us the Earth is flat.  Mathematical theory tells us the Earth is round.  The Ancient Greeks used math and figured this out 1000 years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

Yeah…. I keep a healthy skepticism when people claim THEY know everything based on NN years “experience”.  It’s usually just another method of intimidation and putting people down.  People who are TRULY knowledgeable, back up their assertions with data.



Thank you Bluebee.

Good luck on this. I am interested in the outcome. Thank you for the effort.

And while I am not a 5 year researcher, or whatever else to toot my own horns, I do know that many practical solutions, from everything from farming, beekeeping, to just being a good ol' handy man, much of that knowledge came from a couple old fools out behind the woodshed playing around. And much of beekeeping knowledge handed down came from such efforts. It did not come from mulit-million dollar research led by pompous researchers who claimed to know it all, while getting upset when someone does not do what they say should be done. It came from folks like you. Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 01:52:02 PM by BjornBee » Logged

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gaucho10
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2012, 07:26:31 PM »

Bluebee & BjornBee,

I agree with both of you.  This is the exact reason why I stopped coming to this blog and making any statements or puting in any of my $000.02.  Because regardless of what my ideas are, weather  anyone is interested or not in hearing them, there is always THAT educated moron who will try to argue the point. shocked

Nothing has changed here....I guess I'll go back and spend some more time on my motorcycle blog.....
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My favorite comedy program used to be Glenn Beck--The only thing is that after I heard the same joke over and over again it became BOOOORING.....

People who have inspired me throughout my life---Pee-wee Herman, Adolph Hitler, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck.
Notice I did not say they were people who I admire !!!
derekm
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2012, 07:44:31 PM »

With so few bees clustering is not much protection .
Therefore every watt saved by the hive counts
So from the basic physics of keeping heat in container with a permanent opening
use smallest practical volume
have large vertical distance from majority of volume to opening (my measurements suggest at least 2 foot)
high insulation value
insulation sealed both inside and outside everywhere except opening.
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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?
BlueBee
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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2012, 08:35:12 PM »

Hey Gaucho I remember you and your very interesting bee work.  It's a shame when people like you are discouraged from contributing innovate ideas that I think many beeks are interested in hearing about.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2012, 08:49:34 PM »

Good points Derekm.  Physics does suggest it may be possible to winter small clusters with the right design and proper amounts of insulation.  I am NOT using electric heat in these nucs; just pure insulation.  Rather or not it is practical to overwinter mating nucs, is a completely different question.  As BjornBee correctly noted; who knows what may come about from some individuals running experiments in their garages.  Isn't that how Apple Computer got started?  

I think these nucs would have a much better chance if I followed Derekm's thermal bubble design, but this was a last minute decision to try to overwinter them and I just didn't have time to make a thermal bubble box for them.  As I stated early on, this is just an experiment.  BTW... the 3 living mating nucs still look pretty healthy at this point. 

Oh, it turns out that Mating Nuc #4 is NOT actually dead after all!!!  Maybe Brother Adam is looking over my bees  angel
I took the nuc into the heated barn to diagnose them last night, but was too tired to take the thing apart.  So I go out there today and the bees are alive.  I've seen individual chilled bees come back to life before, but this was my first for a whole hive.  There was NOTHING moving in the mating nuc last night; all indications were they were dead.  Bees are pretty amazing little creatures.
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derekm
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« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2012, 05:17:56 AM »

Quick fix :
Build a  foam overbox for hive.
close fitting on hrizontal dimension that does not have entrance,  10mm oversize on dimension that has top entrance. This 10mm gap becomes the new extension to the entrance and converts assy to bottom entrance.

Place hive on  600mm  tall stand  with  horizontal dimension of stand smaller than dimensions of hive.

 Make overbox  internally 200mm taller than existing hive extenal dimension.
tape seal box joints inside and  out.
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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?
BlueBee
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« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2012, 01:12:55 AM »

Mating Nuc #4 did came back to life after being in the warm barn, but the bees subsequently perished.  A lot of bees had fallen to the bottom of the mating nuc and got stuck in the muck down there.  I didn’t have a drainage hole in the bottom (a mistake on my part).

So tonight I analyzed the dead out and found some interesting things. 

First, the little mating nuc was PACKED with syrup.  That was a surprise because the nucs were VERY VERY light when I retrieved them from the mating yard and put them in the back yard.  Maybe I didn’t need to feed them those honey balls after all? huh 



With some of my big hives in close proximity I figured these little mating nucs would get robbed out in no time flat.  Seems that was not the case; they held their own.  It was pretty amazing that a colony of less than 1000 bees could bring in so much syrup in just a few days of flyable weather since Thanksgiving Holiday. 



I think the syrup came from the neighbor.  She was feeding her bees syrup because she thought it would be good for them.  I avoid syrup this time of year to prevent the next problem I found…. EGGS! shocked

Although most of the combs were filled with syrup, her majesty had started laying some eggs as you might be able to see in this photo.  I saw about 30 cells with new eggs.


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BGhoney
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« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2012, 10:31:40 AM »

I have never tried honey balls, i just use the newpaper and sugar method.  I wintered a few 3 half deep frames a few years back. they made it through winter but didn't build in the spring and just petered out. I had a foam box over each one.  As earlier stated its not good to promote food collecting in winter but if theres no stores in the hive you have to or they have 0 chance of making it.  These projects do take alot of time but its a good time killer ( and often bee killer ) in the winter.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2012, 10:51:13 AM »

Yes, in my case the mating nucs had 0 chance without some feeding (the honey balls) but I was really surprised how much syrup they got from the neighbor.  I saw a lot of activity around the mating nucs on the few flying days we’ve had since Thanksgiving and I was convinced they were getting robbed out.  Turns out I was wrong on that one.

Don’t know what they’ll do in the spring; if they make it.  I’m planning to move away from these mini mating frames and use 4 frame mediums next summer for mating.  Those should be big enough to survive winter with proper insulation and useful come spring.  I’ve got some of them under test this winter too.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2012, 04:38:00 PM »

I checked on the mating nucs today.  The 3 from the last check are still alive.  2 of the 3 seemed to have consumed (or moved) the honey balls I fed them.  It would be kind of nice to give them some more for the Christmas holidays, but it is pretty cold out there....at least for the bee keeper.  grin

I took more photos, but they're about the same as before.  Interestingly, the bees tend to cluster close to the top entrance for some reason.  You would think they might be more prone to cluster away from the drafty door, but that's not the case. 
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