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Author Topic: Winter beekeeping...  (Read 9252 times)
derekm
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« Reply #60 on: February 06, 2013, 07:33:30 PM »

if bees are tropical why do apis mellifera mellifera, iberica, carnica have such dramatic behavioural and metabolic adaptions to cold climates? some of which you know.. Clustering, reduction in food consumption for a range of colder temperatures.

You cant say they like the cold in one sentence then say they are tropical in another.

Because U.S. beekeepers seem to lose a lot of colonies, and then import replacements from the sub tropics it doesnt make all apis mellifera tropical.

 The colony losses might just have something to do with putting them in hives that lose more than 10 times the amount of heat that they would in a tree nest.


sub species of Apis mellifera have been in cold and temperate Europe for thousands of years living wild. Northern europe is not tropical

go read the mitochondrial research ...
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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?
dfizer
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« Reply #61 on: February 06, 2013, 07:51:19 PM »

Wow guys!  When I started this thread I never expected this type of reaction.  My question / potential problem is relatively simple - first here's what I know:

It needs experience, what light means when you lift the hive. But if you have that much frost -16C, you cannot do nothing to bees.

If you feed, they may do the feces inside the hive.

So you should wait for cleansing flight. It is not far away.  My cleansing flights start here a month later.  Bright sun and +5C on snow.

Now my hives are frozen into snow, and I cannot lift them. But I lift the inner cover and it is easy to see, if they have capped food in upper parts of frames.
As long as I see capped food, I move feeding later.

In 2 box hives I may loose and  lift the upper box and  copare it to empty framed box.


Thanks Finski - given that I don't have the necessary experience to determine what too light feels like, I think I'll wait until Monday when temps are above freezing and check on them then.  

What should the hive look like when i look under the inner cover?  Should I see bees or will they likely be in the lower deep?  IF I don't see bees should I life the top deep off and look into the lower deep?  I know they should be in a cluster however if they are in the cluster and I don't see any honey - should I add the sugar on top of news paper as other suggest or cook up some fondant and put it on top of the frames?  

I may add something to protect them from the wind too.  Right now they are simply at the edge of the woods with no real protection from the wind.  Also, I have heard that leaving the sbb open is ok - do you guys think I should put something under the hives to seal up the open sbb?  Many local bee keepers leave their sbb open which is why I have left mine that way.  

Thanks

David
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #62 on: February 06, 2013, 10:40:33 PM »

David,
 Simple ? Smiley If only it were so Smiley The, "Reaction", is a valuable one, study the links, there is some major knowledge getting dropped in this thread.
Drew
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Finski
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« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2013, 06:04:33 AM »



 The colony losses might just have something to do with putting them in hives that lose more than 10 times the amount of heat that they would in a tree nest.



CCD is typical only to USA. They move thousands of beehives to subtropical climate to over winter, but areas no not offer food to hives. Hives are starving lack of pollen nutrients and bees loose the basic health.  So they say and there much what they do not know.

There is something else too why it appeared so strongly during last few years.


My wintering goes very well if I look food consumption and hive structure. But losses for varroa are becoming worse. It is said that varroa is more angry than 20 years ago and side effects of viruses are becoming worse.

.Very experienced beekeepers have lost all they hives during few years. And mostly varroa kills only 50% or 30% out of healthy cluster and it is too much. Out died hive is not a measure of wintering success.
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I know that I should be more carefull when treating my hives, but after all these years I am bored sometimes for those bugs.

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« Reply #64 on: February 08, 2013, 07:02:24 PM »

What should the hive look like when i look under the inner cover?  Should I see bees or will they likely be in the lower deep?  IF I don't see bees should I life the top deep off and look into the lower deep?  I know they should be in a cluster however if they are in the cluster and I don't see any honey - should I add the sugar on top of news paper as other suggest or cook up some fondant and put it on top of the frames? 

I may add something to protect them from the wind too.  Right now they are simply at the edge of the woods with no real protection from the wind.  Also, I have heard that leaving the sbb open is ok - do you guys think I should put something under the hives to seal up the open sbb?  Many local bee keepers leave their sbb open which is why I have left mine that way. 

Thanks

David


To find out which box your bees are in, put your ear against the box and knock - works like a charm.  If they're there, you'll hear a hum.   Do it to both boxes and you'll be able to tell which box they're in.

This is my first year overwintering, too.   I have one deadout already.   The other hive is in a 2 deep lang.  No SBB.    Our winters here are extremely variable.   6 F one night and a day and a half later 60F.  Significant extremes.    Because the warms are too warm for heavy insulation, I compromised by throwing a 6ml sheet of clear plastic over three sides of the hive and tucking it in around three sides of the bottom.  Weighted heavily with bricks.    I left the front side open  so they can get out.   That leaves the bottom open for ventilation [we have extreme variation in humidity here, too] but really protects from the wind.    That hive is booming.  It was 60 F yesterday and they were everywhere - the chicken feed, the bird feeders, the maple sap bags and pillaging the deadout.     

I did feed them in January with some candy.  It was during one of the 50 degree thaws, so I can't comment on opening your hive while it's in the 30s.   I knew they were in the top box by knocking.   I did see them at the top of the frames when I opened it up. 

I hope that helps a bit.    This has been a great thread - I've learned a lot from all the responses.  Thank you all. 

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Just5398
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« Reply #65 on: February 10, 2013, 11:23:05 AM »

so here goes another newbie question regarding feeding...Someone mentioned putting a moistened sheet of newspaper over the inner cover then pour dry sugar over it.  could you put a screen in place of the inner cover so they're is a larger feeding area?
Would feeding dry sugar during the winter be a good idea or bad idea?
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Sally
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« Reply #66 on: February 10, 2013, 11:57:29 AM »


Would feeding dry sugar during the winter be a good idea or bad idea?

First, look, if they need feeding. It is winter and bees SHOULD BE in peace.

In New Jersey temp are so high that bees have done cleansing flight and you may give 1:2 syrup.

.Open the inner cover and look how it seems. If you see capped food, they do not need feeding.

.I look into hive even if it is -10C frost outside.  ´Vain feeding is worse than looking inside.

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T Beek
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« Reply #67 on: February 10, 2013, 01:47:53 PM »

so here goes another newbie question regarding feeding...Someone mentioned putting a moistened sheet of newspaper over the inner cover then pour dry sugar over it.  could you put a screen in place of the inner cover so they're is a larger feeding area?
Would feeding dry sugar during the winter be a good idea or bad idea?

There are successful beeks around the globe who practice placing dry sugar in their hives, either before winter wrap up or during late winter (before bees will consume syrup due to cold temps) when they are light on stores and 'someone' forgot to take action in the fall  Wink.  

Check out Michael Bush's website, he has an excellent section on winter preparations that includes dry sugar, and on the archives right here on BeeMaster, you'll find considerable opinion and debate on this subject.  Robo and Bjorn do as well.  Check em all out.

Bottom line is; 'you' get to decide if dry sugar 'may' save your bees and take appropriate action.  If weather is in 30's go ahead and take a peek to see if there's visible honey and bees.

I'd nix the screen though, it'll just tick off the bees as it falls through on top of them grin

A damp paper towel or newsprint placed over the inner cover hole AND then an 'empty super' (nor frames, nor bees, placed over that, fill cavity w/ 5-10 lbs of sugar (some beeks will lightly spray it) cover up and done.  Shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.

Don't worry, if they need it they will find it, and make use of it until the dandelions begin blooming.
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Finski
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« Reply #68 on: February 10, 2013, 02:11:34 PM »


A damp paper towel or newsprint placed over the inner cover hole AND then an 'empty super' (nor frames, nor bees, placed over that, fill cavity w/ 5-10 lbs of sugar (some beeks will lightly spray it) cover up and done.  Shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.



Is that something adult entertainment?

I am sitting now in my capital city apartment. My hives are 150 km far away. There 1 metre  snow taround hives. Dry sugar and newspapers. Sure. Ridiculous beekeeping.

Like one beekeeper in Alaska wrote, he feeds 50 kg sugar per hive. You really know what to do there. 50 kg dry sugar on newspaper?


You have there so high winter losses that I would keep my mouth shut if I were you.

The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted an online survey to estimate honey bee colony losses for the 2010/2011 winter season. A total of 5,572 U.S. beekeepers, or 20%a of the estimated number of beekeepers in the country, responded. Collectively these beekeepers managed over 15%b of the country’s estimated 2.68 million colonies.

Preliminary survey results indicate that

30% of managed honey bee colonies in the United States were lost during the 2010/2011 winter.
34% of the total colony loss in the winters of 2009/2010;
29% in 2008/2009;
36% in 2007/2008; and
32% in 2006/2007.

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April 2010 :
Ohio beekeepers are reporting a loss of up to 75 percent of their hives.

It's not just a problem this year though. It actually started back in 2008 due to colony collapse disorder. The exact reasoning for the disorder hasn't been determined, but the other factor aiding in this year's loss is the prolonged period of colder weather. Bees haven't been able to keep the honey at 100 degrees in order to eat it.

"There might be honey in the hive, but they can't get to it and warm it up. In essence, they starve to death even though they're surrounded by food,
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 02:35:11 PM by Finski » Logged

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T Beek
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« Reply #69 on: February 10, 2013, 04:20:34 PM »

Sorry Fin, but you don't know me, you don't know my bees, and you seem to know little about teaching or relating your methods to others who may do something different than you, nor do you jnow jack about keeping bees in Wisconsin IMO.  Frankly I don't care how long you've been keeping bees, its your attitude toward others that is offensive and distracts from anything you might say that makes sense.  

So what that you don't like my methods, 'they work' just fine for me and mine.  I don't have the losses you claim 'all' Americans suffer rolleyes

Your Insults belong in Elementary School, not on a public forum.

I thought we agreed some time ago to ignore each other, no?  Can we PLEASE go back to that way of relating to each other?  I'm certainly willing.

Are the mods watching?
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Finski
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« Reply #70 on: February 10, 2013, 06:17:16 PM »

.
Jee jee. Your information about wintering is so wondefull. Newspaper and dry sugar.

And results can be seen.

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Bush_84
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« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2013, 07:21:23 PM »

Here is maybe where the issue is.  I would be willing to say that most beekeepers don't want to be feeding sugar in the winter.  Maybe I should not generalize, but I would rather that my bees get their own honey.  On the other hand if they need some emergency feeding then I will use dry sugar/fondant. You cannot argue with that.  Any beekeeper would rather not see their bees starve if they can do something about it.  As a noobi am still trying to figure our my system.  Last winter was wonderful so my bees didn't need much honey.  This winter has been rather harsh and went through more than anticipated.  As a result two of the three needed fondant.  So guess what?  They will just have to keep some fondant on until things get warmer.  I learned my lesson and will be wintering my bees with three 8 frame deeps. 

I guess there will be those that rob their hives of all their honey, feed sugar syrup, and add candy boards in the fall.  I think bees do better on their own honey.  So I will only use those things when needed.
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edward
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« Reply #72 on: February 10, 2013, 08:45:47 PM »

Its hard to bring a dead hive back to life, so everything is worth giving a try when things don't go as planed.

mvh edward  tongue
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Vance G
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« Reply #73 on: February 10, 2013, 11:23:18 PM »

Finksi, it may not be your way but mountain camp method of feeding dry sugar works fine.  It saves colonies that would otherwise starve out.  If you don't like it, don't do it.  I have no colony collapse disorder.   I have strong wintering bees that would be dead now without the dry sugar.   I do appreciate the knowledge you share Mr. Finski, but none of us need your approval for the way we do things. 
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Finski
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« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2013, 03:11:16 AM »

Finksi, it may not be your way but mountain camp method of feeding dry sugar works fine.  . 

Here guys use "feeding frame". It is a plastic box, where they put dry sugar and the box into the hive.
But it is only emercengy feeding after cleansing flight. 

Hives here really have enough food over winter and extra food is needed at spring.

That hive disturbing line what I see in this forum is not beekeeping.

Hives are now under snow if some hive is ded, it is dead even if you are knocking it every day.

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Finski
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« Reply #75 on: February 11, 2013, 03:16:34 AM »


I guess there will be those that rob their hives of all their honey, feed sugar syrup, and add candy boards in the fall.  I think bees do better on their own honey.  So I will only use those things when needed.

I have robbed all my honey 50 years and I have feeded them full sugar. Nothing wrong in that.
Bees DO NOT do better with honey wintering.

Our hives live with sugar from September to end od August. It is 8 months. What they need too during that time is pollen. Honey has only energy and pollen has other nutritients. But they do not gather pollen from nature during 8 months.

My goal is to produce honey and sell it.  Winted food cost is 20 euros and the price of 20 kg honey is 150 euros.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 03:35:54 AM by Finski » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #76 on: February 11, 2013, 03:49:13 AM »

Its hard to bring a dead hive back to life, so everything is worth giving a try when things don't go as planed.

mvh edward  tongue

But id you load the things so that you need not to be in penic the whole winter and you need not to start feed hives when it is the worst of time of year.

"so everything is worth giving a try when things don't go as planed."  beekeeping is not that diffucult.

Let the bees be in peace the winter and do not go yourself into panic.
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And guys here offer really "everything to try" if you listen to them. Poor hives! Winter dead rate 30% even if guys do not have real winter.

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edward
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« Reply #77 on: February 11, 2013, 07:05:44 AM »

"Real Winter"   Its relative.

This is an international beekeeping forum, I don't have the monopoly on the one and true winter, nor does any one ells.

Winter for one beekeeper may not bee the same as another
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Finski
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« Reply #78 on: February 11, 2013, 09:14:35 AM »

"Real Winter"   Its relative.

This is an international beekeeping forum,

Here is nothing international. Relative and relative.  For example I have studied geograbhy in Helsinki University and then I learn here that winter is realtive.  What I have learned during my life, it has no value among these "do nothing" and " do everything" advices.

A gang of adult persons, who teach idiot things to each other and no one want to learn anything.

This is so high level discussion and it is surely above horizont.

Oh dear!!
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T Beek
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« Reply #79 on: February 11, 2013, 11:00:04 AM »


I guess there will be those that rob their hives of all their honey, feed sugar syrup, and add candy boards in the fall.  I think bees do better on their own honey.  So I will only use those things when needed.

I have robbed all my honey 50 years and I have feeded them full sugar. Nothing wrong in that.
Bees DO NOT do better with honey wintering.

Our hives live with sugar from September to end od August. It is 8 months. What they need too during that time is pollen. Honey has only energy and pollen has other nutritients. But they do not gather pollen from nature during 8 months.

My goal is to produce honey and sell it.  Winted food cost is 20 euros and the price of 20 kg honey is 150 euros.

Really Finski, you feed your bees "sugar from September to end od August."  (that's 11 months NOT 8. )

Your goal is to "produce honey and sell it."  Do your customers know that they're getting SUGAR/honey?

And "You're" the expert?  shocked
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 11:12:13 AM by T Beek » Logged

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