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Author Topic: Wintering Bees for a spring split..?  (Read 1865 times)
CJ
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« on: March 04, 2013, 11:15:03 PM »

G'Day all,

Will be going through my first winter this year with my first 2 hives (8frame/full depth). Both hives currently have 2 boxes with queen excluders in place - top box's are full of honey for them to winter on (still feeding at the minute to help them out).
My questions is; I would like to split both hives in spring, so would it be best to remove the excluders through winter in the hope of more brood/larger colonies by then? It's also been suggested that I will need to feed in late winter to get them breeding early as well - does this sound right and how do I know when to start feeding?
Any advice you could offer would be great - cheers!

CJ
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Todd River Man
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 06:35:33 AM »

I like your thinking. Typically, Spring is swarming season.

I line up my splits and divide hives with a swarm cell in each.

If your hives are strong, they will produce swarm cells. Time your splits after the queen cells are fully formed and before she emerges. I put one or two or more cells in the split, don't be put off if you have three cells in the one new split!

Keep your hives strong.




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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 09:19:46 AM »

In my climate "brooding early" + "cold snap" = "death"
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
prestonpaul
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 06:39:39 PM »

I cn't help you much with the splits, bu you do need to remove the queen excluders over winter because as the bees move up to use the honey, the queen can get left behind and die.
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CJ
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 05:57:54 AM »

Cheers Fella's! - probably getting ahead of myself but I'm almost disappointed to be putting them away for the winter! Itching to get amongst it in the spring!!

prestonpaul; thanks for the heads up mate - no doubt I would have learnt that the hard way!

Michael; Is there an average day time temp you look for before you would start? Climate wise my hives are out near Boorowa (NSW) which gets pretty cold.
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Todd River Man
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 06:51:09 AM »

I got some in Young.

In a healthy hive, I leave the excluder in place, bees never leave their giver of life (their queen).

If you've got plenty of honey up in the super, then prepare for a good spring.

You may like to offer some pollen substitute or protein patty. I never have but i keep the hive strong with honey stored in the super.

Cherry blossom is great bee bread!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 09:28:50 AM »

>Michael; Is there an average day time temp you look for before you would start?

I've learned to let the bees decide when to start.  They sometimes start too early anyway, but at least it's not my fault.  I do not feed in the spring unless there is a danger of them starving and then I would probably give them dry sugar.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#stimulativefeeding
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
CJ
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 05:08:03 AM »

Cheers Michael  Smiley

(Just had an ahh huh moment; realised who I was talking too! I was looking to purchase your books last week from Booktopia Smiley)
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 09:19:29 AM »

Also, as far as queen excluders and winter, if you leave them on here in my climate the bees will cross the excluder, leave the queen behind and she will perish followed by the the colony perishing.  I would always remove the excluder over winter.  But then I would remove it altogether and put it in the garage...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
CJ
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2013, 10:07:51 PM »

Thanks Michael - between your and Ross Conrad's books I've decided to leave the excluders out and let the girls show me how its done - all be it a little confusing for my novice eyes. My strongest hive (3x8 frame deeps) has a box and a half of honey and a box and a half of brood, but shes spread the brood through all 3 boxes - I'm thinking though that I was a little slow getting another box in for them and so she was just capitalising on the free space... Thought they were winding down for winter - turns out they found several paddocks of lucern just coming into flower!  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 09:51:22 AM »

If the queen doesn't have room to lay, they swarm.  If she lays in three boxes, they probably needed three boxes... if they are all the same size frames, then if she lays in it, it's a brood box, and if she doesn't, it's a super.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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