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Author Topic: Bees between the covers  (Read 477 times)
chapbees
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« on: January 09, 2014, 11:32:38 AM »

hello,  new beek here for the last 9 months, I,m located on long island New York. my question is that my bees are hanging out between the inner cover and the telescoping top cover, when ever I pop the top cover to take a quick peek there are a lot of bees there .anybody see this before?  any and all input would be much appreciated
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 11:37:11 AM »

How often are you checking? If regularly, you probably have broken their seal and let the cold in enough for them to have used all their stores up trying to reheat and reseal, and now are going to starve to death.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Parksguyy
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 12:37:02 PM »

I'd be alittle worried they have used up most of their stores, hense being so close to the top.  As we move into later winter, if a hive is going to fail its likely going to happen at that time ... they basically starve if a cold spell hits because they won't break cluster to find food.  We usually throw some fondant or candy at them and I am planning on doing that this weekend when our weekend temps go above freezing according to the forecast.   
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merince
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 12:55:10 PM »

If you are using 2 deeps, I would be worried that they are that high up so early. As Parksguy suggested, you may want to add some sugar on top or a candy board. To add sugar, lay a newspaper on the inner cover (or top bars if warm enough to open), pile dry sugar on top and then slightly mist it with water. If you need space, you may add an empty super.

Here is my recipe for candy board if you want to go that route: http://www.donnellyfarmsohio.com/2013/11/fall-inspections-bee-candy-boards-and.html
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GSF
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 07:29:27 PM »

...and welcome to the forum. You've had bees longer than I have - by 2 months.
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chapbees
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 08:26:19 PM »

thanks everyone so far for your input!!I should have also stated that the bees are actually congregating around the hole in the inner cover don't know if this info make,s any difference? , if I do start to feed fondant how long should I feed for??
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iddee
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 09:24:10 PM »

Until the bloom.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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T Beek
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 05:37:50 AM »

I'd also be concerned about their stores.  Since they are using the center hole already, give them some candy or dry sugar placed on top of inner cover.

In the future, when you want to prevent access above the inner cover, just place a piece of screen over the center hole or insert a 'bee escape.'

FEED until they don't want anymore or until Maples and dandelions begin to bloom.
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merince
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 09:24:21 AM »

Usually the cluster forms below the stores and eats its way to the inner cover. In my location, they reach the top in early spring. This is why everybody that replied is concerned about their stores - it is unusual for the bees to be that close to the top this time of year.

Additionally, once the cluster is formed, it moves very slowly - that is why beekeepers usually talk about the cluster being in contact with the stores. This means that a part of the cluster is on top of stores (honey, candy board, pile of sugar). Even an inch is a giant distance for a cluster to span during a cold snap.
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 09:31:16 AM »

 applause  Excellent description of the plight of bees suffering through winter merince!!!!
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
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