Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
October 02, 2014, 09:47:50 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is this normal??  (Read 731 times)
byathread
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8

Location: Boulder County, Colorado


« on: August 25, 2013, 12:13:52 AM »


To explain, my TBH has 3 entrances on the side, around which large clusters of bees are "sleeping" for the night. At the time, 26 of 28 bars full of brood and honey so I think there was literally no room inside.  I subsequently harvested 5 combs of honey (in two separate installments). After each harvest, the clusters became much smaller...temporarily. As of a few days ago there are about 3 empty bars.

So...is this normal? I intend to leave them with enough honey to get them through the winter and avoid feeding in Spring, but I worry the ladies caught outside won't enjoy the mid-to-low 40s temps we will start having in another month or so. Which leads me to a much more complicated question: How much is enough? Our winters are generally relatively mild (interspersed with periodic very cold spells) but I don't think there will be much forage from October through mid-April when the dandelions come on.
Logged
byathread
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8

Location: Boulder County, Colorado


« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 12:23:39 AM »



In case it will make a notable difference in any responses to my (loaded) question "How much honey is enough?" ...I do think my hive is well-situated for winter: the long part of the hive (with entrances) face due south and it's protected by a fence to the north and west (where our cold winter winds originate). The hive receives full sun 75% of the day, dawn until late afternoon.

Any other recommendations for "winterizing" my hives? So many questions, I know. Any and all help is appreciated.

Cheers,
Kirk
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 04:14:58 AM by Robo » Logged
Better.to.Bee.than.not
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 494

Location: S-E Michigan


« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 04:30:49 AM »

you don't have your location listed, so no way to know what sort of winter you are dealing with or its length. you mentioned it being mild though thats a plus, but bees can go through a lot of stores per month, and it is only august now. It is fine if they have some of the time during the day having lows of 40-etc. they will work and fly when it's higher during the day still, but it depends on what you have blooming on if or how much they have coming in. and of course if you need or want to feed them. seems normal to me though from the picture.
Logged
Joe D
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1993

Location: Ovett, Ms


« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 11:23:31 AM »

i don't know what your temps are running but down here there are bees over the entrances bearding in warm to hot weather.




Joe
Logged
byathread
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8

Location: Boulder County, Colorado


« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 04:27:56 PM »

Bearding!  Thanks Joe D.  A quick google search with articles and images reveals this must be bearding and explains what causes this (heat and/or crowding) and that this is typical behavior.  Boy, do I have a lot to learn!

Better.to.Bee... I'm in Colorado, near Boulder. Average highs in the coldest months of Dec/Jan are in the low-mid 40s, but can often get to 70. Lows at that time are in the low to mid-teens, sometimes well below 0, but only for a couple days at a stretch.  A local top bar beekeeper advised to leave 15 or so frames of honey to get them through winter.  Better to leave them some extra and then take off any excess in the spring I suppose.  Besides, I think more honey in the hive means more thermal mass that will help hold the temp in the hive over winter.

Thanks,
Kirk
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.157 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page August 03, 2014, 11:53:05 PM