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Author Topic: Wintering a hive on top of another  (Read 1017 times)
Oblio13
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« on: July 25, 2013, 09:15:32 PM »

I've got several eight-frame medium nucs that will probably be overwintering in one or two boxes. I was tentatively planning to stack them for the winter with 1/4 plywood between hives.

Then I was thinking about simply using migratory covers instead of plywood, i.e., the cover for one hive would be the base of the next. That way each hive gets a top entrance.

And while I'm at it, is there any reason conventional bases wouldn't work? They'd give each hive an entrance at the bottom and ventilation at the top.

So picture maybe three hives in four, five or six boxes total, stacked from strongest to weakest, and topped with an insulated cover.

Any thoughts?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 01:15:33 AM »

I seem to recall reading on another forum that a neighbor of yours in Vermont winters quite a few nucs on top of hives.  So apparently it can work.  I don’t winter my nucs that way for a few reasons.  First I don’t believe you’re going to get a significant thermal advantage in putting a wood hive over another wood hive.  Cold is cold.  19mm wood doesn’t do much more than keep the wind off the bees IMO.  Secondly I wouldn’t trust a flat board to keep the cold November rain off the bees.  I’ve done that once, never again.  Thirdly if you want to check on your bees, or give them a holiday treat  applause; it is cumbersome to do when they’re all stacked on top of each other.  Forth, if you have a hole (entrance) on the bottom and a vent on the top, you’ve created a chimney in your hive to efficiently exhaust heat. 

I did overwinter about a dozen 4 frame medium nucs last winter in single boxes (nucs), I don’t see an advantage to stacking boxes to conserve heat.  To me, it makes a lot more sense to conserve heat with polystyrene insulation/boxes.

There’s more than one way to winter a bee though.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 03:58:16 AM »

 Here's a video of a guy in Maine wintering nucs on top of a hive. I'm sure the same principle would apply with wintering 2 or 3 eight frame nucs.
He doesn't use plywood between them. Each has a SBB with an extra piece of screen attached to prevent the bees from touching each other while keeping each other warm.

 
Nucs overwintering
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 04:11:55 AM »

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That makes any sense.

It makes impossible to nurse bees donwstairs.



Try to make such hives that they come along with their own. It is enough time to do that.

Non insulated hives and their warm to each other. makes no sense in modern time shen you may buy good polystyrene hives.

painted polyhive. Not much difference in outpearance to wooden hives

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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 04:30:14 AM »

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I may over wonter 3 frames nuc here with electrict heating 3 W, but that colony is not able to rera brood in spring.

It has only value of queen. Bees must be stolen from big hives and then the big hive has difficulties to build up.

It is better to rear a good hive for winter. Just now in the middle of summer you take a frame of emerging bees from big hive and you get a good colony in 2 months.

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Oblio13
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 06:02:57 AM »

... I did overwinter about a dozen 4 frame medium nucs last winter in single boxes (nucs)...

I'm surprised four medium frames would be viable through a Michigan winter. How did you do it?
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Oblio13
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 06:14:48 AM »

... It is better to rear a good hive for winter. Just now in the middle of summer you take a frame of emerging bees from big hive and you get a good colony in 2 months.

My two strongest hives are Warre's with fixed frames, so I can't take brood from them. I also have a strong hive on deep frames, but my nucs are all mediums.

I'm trying to encourage them to build as much as possible by winter. Right now they have six, five, two and two medium frames of brood, respectively.
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Oblio13
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2013, 06:30:40 AM »

... I don’t believe you’re going to get a significant thermal advantage in putting a wood hive over another wood hive.  Cold is cold.  19mm wood doesn’t do much more than keep the wind off the bees IMO....

True that wood doesn't have much value as insulation, but that's why I'm thinking 1/4" ply between hives would allow heat to rise while blocking moisture.
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2013, 11:06:32 AM »

the double screen board sounds like a good idea to me.
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2013, 11:57:15 AM »



My two strongest hives are Warre's with fixed frames, so I can't take brood from them.

Let's think that you succeed to over winter two frames of bees (a third frame died over time) and then it is easier to get extra bees from hives, if you have not afford in the middle of summer.

Beginners love to try too small colonies over winter. It does not make any sense.

Quite often I start to over winter 20 frame colonies and after winter they have only cupfull. Yes, nosema.

It is like to tell fishing lies  "once I have a hive" and you do not tell "ten times I had a hive".

Use your branes when you have them.
- I mean those guys who teaches stupid things to beginners.

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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2013, 11:59:18 AM »

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Life teaches if a guy cannot learn from another's experience.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2013, 12:27:09 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#BottomBoardFeeder

Here are some of mine stacked up.  The 1/4" will allow more heat sharing.  The solid bottoms can be converted to feeders that don't require opening the hives...
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Michael Bush
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BlueBee
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 02:49:27 PM »

I agree with Mr Finski that a larger hive/nuc is better for wintering IF you have one.  If your nuc is small though, it is still possible to winter and it IS more valuable than just a queen.  They’re just slower to build up because the queen doesn’t have as much comb to lay in during the spring population explosion.  If you can give them more comb in the spring, they can do quite well.   I also wintered a couple of 8 frame medium nucs in the same design and they were absolutely bubbling over with bees by early spring.   









I tried to winter some mating nucs last winter (about 600 bees per box) just to learn first hand what the limits of the bees are.  Those mating nucs dropped like flies in November until I super insulated 4 of them with about 2” of insulation.  Those 4 almost made it to spring….but not quite.  They froze out in February on a sub 0F night.  I suspect they could have survived with a little more insulation, but even 2” thick insulation is getting pretty bulky and expensive. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2013, 02:50:58 PM »

Life teaches if a guy cannot learn from another's experience.
And how many more years are you going to raise mice in your hives over winter  laugh laugh laugh
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 04:05:16 PM »

 laugh laugh laugh


That hive has brought now honey 150 kg  = 300 lbs
 honey hah hah ha ha

Mice have a place in our ecosystem.



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RHBee
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2013, 09:02:13 PM »

And it starts again.  grin
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Later,
Ray
Finski
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« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2013, 06:53:52 AM »

.
That mouse looking guy is flying squirrel.
It is a Siberian creature.


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RHBee
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« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2013, 07:20:59 AM »

Finski, we have a species of flying squirrel in North Anerica. I had one as a pet when I was a kid. Really  interesting creatures. .
Thanks for the photos.
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Ray
sc-bee
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« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2013, 08:16:16 AM »

You got us beat though Finski- we ain't got nare siberian flying tree rats. Jus der redneck kina tree rats  grin


« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 08:32:49 AM by sc-bee » Logged

John 3:16
Finski
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« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2013, 10:31:16 AM »

.

I do not wonder

grandma vs Machine gun VERY FUNNY (failedTview)
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