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Author Topic: Over-stimulating in winter  (Read 992 times)
kalium
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« on: March 01, 2014, 05:59:07 AM »

Hi all,

I often read that you should be careful that bees don't become over-stimulated in winter.

If my bees though decide that there is enough local flora around and the weather is warm enough, are they not able to safely determine
what kind of population they can support?

Or, Is this more an issue when you are feeding them ?

Cheers
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buzzbee
Ken
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 06:09:08 AM »

It is feeding in a cold climate and stimulating brood rearing too soon before nature will be able to sustain the larger colonies. We normally have to step them up in cold climates starting 6 weeks before a nectar flow if you want enough bees to harvest a surplus. It is always a gamble, If you produce a strong colony and the cold last longer than expected you have to keep them fed until better weather prevails.  When you stimulate brood production bees will consume any stored reserves quite rapidly.
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amun-ra
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 06:30:26 AM »

kalium mine fly and collect all year long im in townsville but as you say just let bees bee bees and all will be fine I have never had to feed they do quite well themselves
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Lone
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 12:36:04 AM »

Kalium, ignore any info you read on overwintering.    Sometimes the best flows are in winter in Queensland, depending on winter flowers in your area.  Remember bees forage at about 14C, so they basically don't stop here except for the odd cold day.

At times queens will scale down brood rearing if there is not enough nectar/pollen coming in, but that can happen any time of the year.  They are more likely to need back up stores in a big monsoon than a cold spell.  But as Amun says it is very rare you will need to feed.  Look around the paddocks and you'll get familiar with spotting what flowers come out when.  A weak hive that can't afford to send out foragers might benefit from short term feeding to break the cycle, stimulate more brood and hence have more foragers to become self supporting.

We have our own issues in QLD.  We don't have to prep for months under snow but we are likely to have all our hives wash away in a flood, blow away in a cyclone, or get eaten by bee birds.

When you extract, leave a couple of frames of honey in the hive and you shouldn't have trouble with starvation.  If a decent flow is coming in I don't mind taking all capped frames.

Lone
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Lone
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 12:55:19 AM »

PS g'day Amun, sorry didn't make it to the last bee meeting.  Mr Secretary just came by and woke me up after nightshifts so if I fall asleep at work tonight you will know who to blame.

Lone
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kalium
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2014, 05:06:55 AM »

Kalium, ignore any info you read on overwintering.    Sometimes the best flows are in winter in Queensland, depending on winter flowers in your area.  Remember bees forage at about 14C, so they basically don't stop here except for the odd cold day.

At times queens will scale down brood rearing if there is not enough nectar/pollen coming in, but that can happen any time of the year.  They are more likely to need back up stores in a big monsoon than a cold spell.  But as Amun says it is very rare you will need to feed.  Look around the paddocks and you'll get familiar with spotting what flowers come out when.  A weak hive that can't afford to send out foragers might benefit from short term feeding to break the cycle, stimulate more brood and hence have more foragers to become self supporting.

We have our own issues in QLD.  We don't have to prep for months under snow but we are likely to have all our hives wash away in a flood, blow away in a cyclone, or get eaten by bee birds.

When you extract, leave a couple of frames of honey in the hive and you shouldn't have trouble with starvation.  If a decent flow is coming in I don't mind taking all capped frames.

Lone

Yes, well some of us don't even have to worry about cyclones either thankfully  Smiley

RIght, I'll ignore the general advice about over wintering. Normally I do, but I actually was reading about this in the DPI bee book. I guess it is more applicable in the far inland, as I bet it gets pretty cold sometimes out there.

Although I realised we obviously don't have any snow or really really cold weather, it is possibly a bit colder than where you are Lone. We get mean minimum averages of around 6c, and sometimes even a frost (not frequent).


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