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Author Topic: Mild Winter  (Read 1372 times)
naturessence
New Bee
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Location: Buzzard's Bay, MA


« on: February 15, 2006, 05:31:14 PM »

Hello Everyone,
Here in Massachusetts we are experiencing a very mild winter. This is my first winter as a beekeeper (2 hives). I have heard that the bees might be more active than they should be at this time of year and there is a great risk that they could be using up their honey stores before they normally would. Should I be feeding them "bee candy"? If so, what is it? Where do I find it? Another question. I've just purchased a third hive for the spring and need to buy package bees. Other than the local beekeeper's association, does anyone know where I might order from? Thanks for your help.
Peggy
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Instead of dirt and poison, we have chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light. -- Jonathan Swift
TREBOR
House Bee
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Location: The State of Jefferson


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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2006, 06:04:55 PM »

Hi Peggy,
  if you are unsure about they're food it wouldn't hurt
to feed them..

look here, It my help  
     http://robo.hydroville.com/html/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=17
  you can also put this recipe in a pie tin, remove it after cool and place it
on the top bars of the upper super (if you have two supers).
 
and this guy has northern bred bees in mass. if you buy it includes
and seminar or two.  
    but you need to order soon!!!!!!!!!
   http://www.lagrantshoneybees.com/
Hope this helps!!!
 Have fun !!!!
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derbeemeister
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Location: Cambridge, MA USA


« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2006, 06:39:50 PM »

Hi

I wouldn't start feeding yet. I would wait at least a month more (end of march) before worrying over them. If you start too soon they will start brooding up and then if it turns cold the brood will die

Herve
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Herve Abeille
gsferg
House Bee
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Location: Whitefield, Maine


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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2006, 07:04:49 PM »

It wouldn't hurt to give the hives a heft to see how they're doing on stores. They will go through food faster with this warmer weather and it would be sad to lose them because they ran out of honey when you could have done something about it. If the hives are light then putting some candy on the top bars could make the difference in getting them through to spring. Herve has a point, there is the risk that they'll start brooding up if you start feeding, but the risk of starvation is very real too. I'd be more worried about starvation than I would about them getting stranded on brood in a cold snap. Don't feed them pollen or substitute, that likely would get them going.
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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"
naturessence
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Location: Buzzard's Bay, MA


« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 07:55:15 PM »

Thanks so much for your help everyone. I appreciate it!  Trebor, I called the place in Ware, Mass. to order a nuc. Thanks!
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Instead of dirt and poison, we have chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax; thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light. -- Jonathan Swift
Finsky
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Location: Finland


« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 09:00:46 PM »

Fast way to see, do your bees need feeding is to open inner cover and look, if you see capped honey combs. It they have, let them be in rest.

Wain feeding at winter only disturbs them.

In September I give winter food for hives and it is enough for 8 months. I do not worry, do they have food because I know that 20 kg sugar is enough. After cleansing flight I check with hand how heavy hives are. If they are light, I open inner cover and look the situation. Often food stores are in lower box and I feel it with hand.

It is not true that bees consume during warm winter more food. Only brooding consumes when it starts.

We have mild winter too and I know that bees are fine. Now we have only -8C.

Quote from: derbeemeister
If you start too soon they will start brooding up and then if it turns cold the brood will die


This is a good advice

.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2006, 09:18:51 PM »

Try lifting the hive.  See if it's light or heavy.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
TREBOR
House Bee
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2006, 10:15:13 PM »

your welcome
 Frank is a good guy, and his workshops are fun!!!
So, have fun !! Cheesy
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