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Author Topic: Wintering Mating Nucs  (Read 9471 times)

Offline little john

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2012, 09:29:01 PM »
Quote
I keep a healthy skepticism when people claim THEY know everything based on NN years “experience”.

Indeed. There is a BIG difference between (say) 30 years genuine experience and 1 year's experience times 30.
I found this out the hard way when I took on a guy as crew who told me he had 30 years sailing experience. Imagine my surprise a few days into the trip when we ran into a modest gale - it wasn't a problem as we were well offshore - just a bit lumpy - but the poor sod went all to pieces - turned out he had just been making the same trip along the South Coast each summer for the last 30 years, and had run for cover whenever the barometer started falling. In doing that, he had never gained any experience of conditions outside of his own comfort-zone.

Quote
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.

If people were only to do that, then there would never be any novel ways of doing things, only modifications of what went before.

That is why adverts have been seen in the past for maths graduates WITHOUT any previous computer programming experience.
That is why it took a post-Doctoral physicist WITHOUT any experience of astronomy (but who was granted his request for telescope time) to discover new heavenly bodies (black holes an' stuff), where existing scientists had failed.

Sometimes you just need someone with a new set of ideas, a new way of looking at things, someone without a pre-existing set of perceptual filters, to effect a sea change in any discipline.
Such a person will surely make mistakes - that's the essential nature of experiential learning - and from those mistakes one can then proceed to draw conclusions. That is what is meant by gaining experience - as opposed to simply acquiring knowledge from others.

It would be a marked improvement here to see some encouragement for such a person's attempts, rather than the usual carping criticism which I am fairly sure has driven many people away from this forum. It's certainly put the brakes on any discussion I might have had here, regarding one or two plans I have for colony expansion and Queen-raising next year.

LJ

Offline Finski

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2012, 07:19:57 AM »
.

Some are top researhers without education and without experience. They just are for the mercy of God.

But when you know little you know all.

One common thing to these nature born experts is that if I give a reseach link to some issue, they are not able to read or understand their native language. So they must invent their own explanation to all.
.

I am not ashamed what I have written. Most of guys have not even able to evaluate what I have said.

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« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 08:54:35 AM by Finski »
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Language barrier NOT included

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #42 on: December 24, 2012, 03:26:45 AM »
OK, here’s a before and after photo of one of my mini mating nucs.  Note the honey balls have quickly disappeared.  The question is where did they go?  I suspect they moved the food into comb cells, but I don’t know for sure.  This seems like a little too much food (calories) to disappear in a mere 10 days.



What do y’all think?  Where did those honey balls go?

Offline edward

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2012, 10:10:28 AM »
If you had a scale under the hive you could control the weight and you could tell what had happened to the food  ;)

My guess is that they have stored it in the comb cells

mvh edward  :-P

Offline JRH

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2012, 05:22:22 PM »
Did I miss the answer to "How do you make your honey balls?"

Offline weldingfreak6010

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2012, 05:43:35 PM »
I want to know ab out the honey balls too thanks

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2012, 10:51:08 PM »
Honey balls is my lazy way for supplemental winter feeding.  I posted how I made the things in some other post, but even I can’t find it anymore……so it here goes again.

Get out a big bowl and fill it about 1/3 full of granulated sugar.  Next get some of your extra honey (or known good honey) and pour (or spoon if crystallized) a goob of honey into the bowl of sugar.  Now mix the gooey honey blob in with the sugar until it gains a putty like consistency.  At that point, I stick my paws in the bowl of sugar and kneed in more sugar until all the stickiness of the honey has been absorbed.  The end result in a ball of mostly table sugar held together by honey.  Honey is acting like a binder.  The balls never get rock hard, nor do they ever fall apart.  They just kind of remain in a putty like form.  I do store them in sugar until I use them.  This allows them to harden up a bit more.



I shape the honey/sugar mix into a ball form that I can just toss on top of the frames.  However I see no reason why you couldn’t form the stuff into any shape you want:  pancakes, bricks, snakes, gummy bears, whatever.     

I haven’t precisely measured the ratio of honey to sugar in my honey balls, but I would guess they’re about 1 part honey and 3 parts sugar.  It really doesn’t take much honey to make a lot of balls.  The sugar is low cost and the honey makes a nice binder to hold it together.  No cooking, no cooling, and minimum mess in making the things.  As you can see from my before and after photos in this thread, the bees really devour the things.   



Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2012, 10:55:44 PM »
We got about a half foot of snow so far tonight.  I wonder how my little mini mating nucs are doing? 

According to the weather forecast we're not going to be above 32F/0C for the foreseeable future so I'm not sure when I'll be able to take another peek. If we get a sunny day without wind, I'll try to take another peek inside and snap a photo or two. 

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2012, 11:42:22 PM »
BlueBee, that's absolutely brilliant!

I've actually been using reject honey in an experiment to see if it will keep my 2:1 syrup from crystallizing in the cold.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2013, 04:47:19 PM »
Thanks CapnChkn!

How did the Bee Gees say it?  Ah ah ah Stayin alive.

Must be those honey balls  :)

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2013, 09:48:22 PM »
It wasn’t a very nice day out there again today so I didn’t peek in at all my mini mating nucs, but I figured I would take a peek at Mating Nuc #1 because I figured it probably didn’t survive the last few weeks.  It has been plenty cold enough to kill off small colonies.  We haven’t have a day above freezing in 2 or 3 weeks and virtually no solar gain.

I was amazed to find these girls still alive and looking pretty good.  This mating nuc looked pretty weak the last time I peeked in.  Didn’t look like it had more than 400 or 500 bees.  It actually looked a little bigger today. 



We’re suppose to get above freezing next week so I’ll check the other mating nucs then. 

Offline Sparky

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2013, 10:39:45 PM »
I noticed that you have consistently had some moisture drops on the inside of the plastic when you peak in. Do you have any kind of weep holes in the bottoms of the surviving nucs ?

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2013, 11:01:35 PM »
Good catch Sparky.  No I do NOT  :(  I should have done that though.

Offline edward

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #53 on: January 05, 2013, 11:47:06 PM »
I would recommend the "weep holes" on the top ventilated hives.

On the bottom ventilated hives it usually is enough to have them sloping slightly down towards the entrance.

Makes a world of difference between dry dead bees and wet dead bees that start to rot  :-X beefore they can bee cleansed by cleaning bees in the spring.

mvh edward  :-P

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #54 on: January 06, 2013, 12:23:42 AM »
Yes, I know that smell.....unfortunately!

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #55 on: January 06, 2013, 01:09:48 AM »
Perhaps they are clustered @ entrance to prevent heat/moisture loss ?  Honey balls turned to heat to raise brood ? perhaps switch to bottom entrance would reduce consumption/drain excess moisture ?
Cheers,
Drew
 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 01:25:42 AM by Maryland Beekeeper »

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #56 on: January 06, 2013, 01:27:19 AM »
Drew, they had some capped brood at Thanksgiving.  Generally I believe my queens stop laying eggs in any significant amount by mid October.  I don’t make a habit of pulling frames from all the hives, so I don’t know that to be fact, but on the occasions that I have pulled frames that is what I have observed.

This year my neighbor was feeding her bees (and mine) with sugar water at Thanksgiving and evidently my bees were getting quite a bit of it.  I discovered that when I examined mating nuc #4 that died out.  It did have some eggs in it.  Odds are the other nucs may have done some brooding too.  However there just isn’t much pollen in those little mating nucs so I don’t think they’re going to be able to raise any significant amount of brood until the willows bloom in the spring.  An interesting side note, I found some more dead drones outside my jumbos today.  For whatever reason, those jumbos maintain drones year round.

It is way too cold to be pulling frames now.  There’s snow on the ground and it is below freezing. 

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #57 on: January 06, 2013, 02:14:48 AM »
They all have top entrances ? the jumbos to ? Do me a personal favor with one of those nucs and seal the top tight, add 2" more insulation to 6 sides, 4" more to the top(overlap joints) and drill 1" entrance in bottom :) I think they can make it fine, if you think they are low on pollen put a teaspoon of whole wheat flour in, I'll bet it goes the way of the honey balls.

 you have 2 ? switch one up I'll bet 1$ it comes out gangbusters in spring :)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 02:27:11 AM by Maryland Beekeeper »

Offline edward

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #58 on: January 06, 2013, 09:19:36 AM »
One way of checking if a hive has an egg laying queen and brood is to put your hand over the ball of bees.
If it is warm it will most likely bee beecause the bees have a brood nest to keep warm.

Hives that don't have any brood will not waste there energy on excess heat and will bee cooler.

Hives that don't have larvae to feed don't need pollen under the winter, in the spring when new pollen comes into the hive is is a start signal to start laying eggs again.

mvh edward  :-P

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Wintering Mating Nucs
« Reply #59 on: January 06, 2013, 11:07:15 AM »
I concur and from the looks of the condensation in pics it is toasty in there !