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Author Topic: Winter Preparations  (Read 1868 times)
Parksguyy
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« on: October 18, 2013, 10:53:53 AM »

Hi everyone,
Cdn beek here going into his second winter and wondering about some necessary preparation.
Bees are being fed a heavy syrup now, but the temperatures are about to drop next week which will likely limit anymore feeding.  Wind break will be going up this weekend as I did last winter ... hives are infront of an existing split rail fence already with some bushes giving some afternoon shade.  I will be reversing my inner covers so the notch is pointing down into the brood chambers ... everyone is telling me this is the correct winter setup ... I winter with double brood chambers.
I also wrap my hives with an aluminium bubble wrap.  I've heard others talk about using moisture board or something similar that will absorb any moisture.  Can someone tell me what this is ... I take it that its readily available at the lumber stores.  Its placed above the inner cover over the existing hole and is fiberous so it absorbs moisture.  I've also heard of older beeks using what we call black joe here.  Just looking for some guidance here from some more experienced beeks.
Thanks
     
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Finski
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 04:26:03 AM »

.

Here is my writings

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,40142.0.html

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,42886.0.html


Polystyrene brood boxes would be good in Canada.

http://www.golden-green.ca/bee-supply/price-list/

I make my own floors and covers from wood.
I have used since 1987 poly boxes.  They are great.
I do not like mesh floors.

Countries, where polyboxes are imported, prices tend to be douple compared to original country.



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« Last Edit: October 20, 2013, 04:39:39 AM by Finski » Logged

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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 04:42:42 AM »

.
In old polystyrene boxes wall was 2 cm thick, but nowadays the thickness is 4 cm
It keeps much more better heat inside the hive in climate like Finland or Canada has.


It really has meaning when you measure surface temp with heat leaking pistol



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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 04:44:15 AM »

.
Heat leaking pistol. You may measure the temperature  of honey extracting proces with this

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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 12:24:00 PM »

In old polystyrene boxes wall was 2 cm thick, but nowadays the thickness is 4 cm
It keeps much more better heat inside the hive in climate like Finland or Canada has.
Bravo, it sounds like you’re catching up with the British Beekeepes; or at least Derekm with regards to thicker insulation.  My hives and nucs vary from 25mm (1”) to 50mm (2”) polystyrene.  Thin 20mm foam gets too cold in the winter.   I don’t have ice sickles growing inside my hives.
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 01:52:42 PM »


Bravo, it sounds like you’re catching up with the British Beekeepes; or at least Derekm with regards to thicker insulation.  .

Nice idea, but NO ONE in Finland knows, who is that famous Derekm.

Another poly hive producer has 3000 hives and another 1000 hives.
They boath export polyhive to UK.

Derekm has 4 hives and his honey production is round zero.

Derekm has not noticed that the hive box is a tool to produce honey.
Honey production needs migrative beekeeping, and boxes needs at least two handles to lift boxes.

And one thing, UK has no winters. There are only lowsy rainy weathers.

And you Bluebee, honey producer needs quite a truck to carry those straw balls with him.

Now, something essential has been lost in this industrial product design
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 01:58:11 PM »

.
Bluebee and his migrative beekeeping



Have you got into mind to make this kind of hives
from that material


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derekm
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2013, 02:33:22 PM »

....




I have one of those in my lab... I know how warm that is...
A properly made and coated straw skep can be as warm as some polystyrene hives...
which surprised me when i made the measurements.
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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?
BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2013, 03:01:32 PM »




Maybe Finski should go Back to the Future.  Or maybe he's already there  laugh

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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 04:18:09 PM »


A properly made and coated straw skep can be

Don't say that cow  thing....

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Finski
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 01:55:10 AM »



I have one of those in my lab... I know how warm that is...
A properly made and coated straw skep can be as warm as some polystyrene hives...
which surprised me when i made the measurements.

Yes, it is marvellous that British people advice Finnish in insulating.

What is the difference with British and Finnish, if the beehive is moist. We add a little bit heat in the box and British open windows and ventilate heat off.

The British do not understand that the meaning of box is to keep bees warm. NO, they think that keeping them dry is the most important.

Even if they buy Finnish polyhives, they ruin the insulation properties with ventilation. Mesh floor has 10 fold ventilation compared to  solid floor.  Then they say that there is no difference with ply and polystyrene.

But knowledge level on this American forum is not better.

And when then somebody insulates something, he is like mad with his ideas.

.But I can tell that beekeeprs in Finland are not all wise. They have strange ideas which have nothing to do with facts.

I can only say that honeybee stands many kind of beekeepers.
If the hive is alive, it does not mean that the beekeepers is right.

I know those odd guys several. They are allways right. They have no problems with beehives, but their annual yields are modest. ..

They are proud about their systems, which produces minimum results.

Bluebee and Derekm, what about your annual yields?
What it tells about your beekeeping skills
.
..
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 02:07:22 AM »

.
To me wintering is very easy thing after 50 years beekeeping. But I must say that varroa makes continuos troubles.

But the main thing, honey production.

Here is a hive on balance. Last summer it brough as false swarms stage 20 kg honey in 3 days.
In 1.5 months it brought 110 kg.  Before the measuring started,  it brought 50 kg in 2 weeks.

http://koti.tnnet.fi/web144/vaakapesa/selaa.php?vuosi=2013&kunta=112


To find splended pastures is an essential part of beekeeping and I do much work with that thing.  

I use commercial hives, and I cannot see any problems in wintering. It goes like it has done 25 years in polyboxes.

Better insulation? - It means 2-3 euros as sugar price. My hives spend on average 20 kg sugar during 8 months winter. No idea to make better insulation. It has no meaning.
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2013, 06:00:58 AM »

To bad that too few 'experts'  were willing to answer your questions Sad

1.  Keep that inner cover with notch facing DOWN all year.  Don't force bees to climb through the inner cover hole to access hive.  The notch facing down is the only correct position.

2.  Continue to feed thick syrup as long as daytime temps are getting above freezing (I give mine warm syrup for breakfast) or they stop taking it.

3.  Don't worry too much about wrapping.........That said..follow the advise of your neighbors.  Windbreaks are GREAT!


Guess we can get back to the wiz match now grin
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
derekm
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2013, 06:27:47 AM »



I have one of those in my lab... I know how warm that is...
A properly made and coated straw skep can be as warm as some polystyrene hives...
which surprised me when i made the measurements.

Yes, it is marvellous that British people advice Finnish in insulating.

What is the difference with British and Finnish, if the beehive is moist. We add a little bit heat in the box and British open windows and ventilate heat off.

The British do not understand that the meaning of box is to keep bees warm. NO, they think that keeping them dry is the most important.

Even if they buy Finnish polyhives, they ruin the insulation properties with ventilation. Mesh floor has 10 fold ventilation compared to  solid floor.  Then they say that there is no difference with ply and polystyrene.

But knowledge level on this American forum is not better.

And when then somebody insulates something, he is like mad with his ideas.

.But I can tell that beekeeprs in Finland are not all wise. They have strange ideas which have nothing to do with facts.

I can only say that honeybee stands many kind of beekeepers.
If the hive is alive, it does not mean that the beekeepers is right.

I know those odd guys several. They are allways right. They have no problems with beehives, but their annual yields are modest. ..

They are proud about their systems, which produces minimum results.

Bluebee and Derekm, what about your annual yields?
What it tells about your beekeeping skills
.
..

Finski... FINMAN ...  you falsely attribute behaviour to individuals on ethnic lines... They have a word for that, The word is ....


« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 07:19:36 AM by derekm » Logged

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?
Parksguyy
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2013, 07:48:31 AM »

Thanks T Beek,
Appreciate your comments .... was hoping a few more would jump in unfortunately.
Strange how some of these threads seem to take on a life of their own ... regardless of the topic originally posted.
I tend to read alot and keep ending up with the works of some of the original beekeepers ... oddly enough not alot has changed or requires changing (with the exception of the new pest and their management) ... it seems many of us beeks like to think we know more about these bees than the bees know themselves.  I just want to treat me bees in the best manner I can, and let them do what they do naturally ... hoping everyone comes thru the winter well!
   
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T Beek
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2013, 08:00:33 AM »

 th_thumbsupup  Bees are the 'only' experts.
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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2013, 08:11:08 AM »

The last thing I do before leaving my bees alone for the winter is to fill a vent/feed box placed above the inner covers with 5-10 lbs of dry sugar (insurance) and pile loose hay or straw around each hive (bales work as well).  As snow accumulates I;ll shovel it up around each hive.  Snow placed either naturally or shoveled over hay (both breathable materials) as insulation is as cheap as one can get, and around here...both are quite plentiful.
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Ken
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2013, 05:50:57 PM »

There is enough"baiting" in both directions here. Play nicely or who knows where the axe may fall. The days are getting shorter and I have more time behind the keyboard. I will be sure I won't regret coming here, and winter is just heading our way!!
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T Beek
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2013, 03:22:00 AM »

 huh
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Parksguyy
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2013, 07:57:43 AM »

Hey T Beek,
I did the same thing  last winter with one weaker hive, then in February all the hives got some fondant followed by pollen patties in March.  I'm thinking I may put them to bed with some fondant this winter, insurance more than anything.  We had a couple of swarms and at the time I wasn't sure what was going on with those two hives.  They never really rebounded so since the middle of September they have been getting 2:1 syrup ... thats coming to an end now that the temps are dropping here.  I still have to do a dripple treatment for mites shortly too ... didn't have any last year, this year very high counts in a couple of hives? 

When you mention the inner cover being reversed for the winter, everything I have read states differently?  Although everyone I ask, reverses it for the winter so the notch is facing down into to the brood chambers.  I know ventilation is key, its just confusing with all the options out there ... and alot of it is location dependent.
 
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