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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Urbana, IL
    Posts
    14

    Post

    Will the snow surrounding and covering the enterance to my hive cause any harm to the bees? Can they suffocate?

    What I'm really asking is if there is a need for me to trek out in the snow to remove the snow from the hive entrance. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I do it so it doesn't freeze and lock them in. If you are wise, like MB for instance, and have all top entrances it's not an issue. I also like to use a twig and clean out any dead bees in the entrance. I also take the snow off the tops so that it doesn't melt and drip down to the entrance. I'd leave it for insulation if it weren't going to melt till spring.

    Dickm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,787

    Post

    >Will the snow surrounding and covering the enterance to my hive cause any harm to the bees? Can they suffocate?

    Yes they can suffocate. No, they usually don't. It will take a few days anyway. So if you get a heavy snow, don't stand out in the blizzard shoveling out the entrances. Wait until the storm stops and then make sure the entrances are all open.

    >What I'm really asking is if there is a need for me to trek out in the snow to remove the snow from the hive entrance.

    Yes, there is. No, it's not a "right this minute" sort of thing.

    They also need to be able to fly if the weather warms up. Make sure the exit isn't blocked by a lot of dead bees. I love my top entrances. I never shovel snow anymore. [img]smile.gif[/img] And they never get clogged by dead bees. And the mice never move in...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4

    Post

    Michael, do you have a photo of your top entrance to share?

    With my NYC Park Avenue rooftop NYC Celebri-Bees, I have to climb up on the roof (and risk sliding off - never thought of that when I got my packages in April - duh). If I can avoid snow-shoveling on the roof, that will be a good thing

    Happy holidays
    I (heart) Honeybees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,787

    Post

    Put two cedar shingle shims under a migratory cover and one part way across the resulting space and you'll have a nice sized opening for winter (break the last shim off at whatever size youwant for the opening). Or put shims under the inner cover the same way. Or cut a notch in the "taller" side of an inner cover.

    Here's a picture of one from a migratory during the flow. I've added a shim to reduce the entrance some for the winter. I don't have a picture of that:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Migr...pEntrance2.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Migr...pEntrance1.JPG
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    I'm 55 now and thos cleansing flights seem to become more important every year. But realizing the insulative value of snow, I don't remove all of it. I'm just pushing a hole through the snow with the handle of the shovel. If it's more than three feet of snow and may collapse I'll wiggle the shovel back and forth to open up the hole.

    Notice the Ga bks just pass over this thread?

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY, in the North Country
    Posts
    83

    Post

    How do you keep the cold from pouring in there????
    Sandy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Whiteville, NC
    Posts
    193

    Post

    This one's for Hawk

    How do you keep the cold from pouring in there????

    I keep my hive in coastal Carolina!(Not quite GA But warmer than inland)
    GeeB
    Life must be lived forward but understood backwards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    1,525

    Post

    Sandy, let it pour. A healthy colony won't die off from cold. Unless you don't have enough ventilation and the condensation drips on the cluster, or the top feeder leaks sugar water all over them.

    Today and for the next several days we'll bee close to 20 in the daytime and 0 at night. Wind chill makes it worse but if you have wind blocks and no holes in the hives wind chill doesn't matter much. They shiver and warm the cluster.

    In fact, Was it Japan just last week they published a colony surrounds an attacking hornet and superheats it until it dies. They even said the temp to kill the hornet is only four degrees less than the temp that would kill the bees.

    That's just an example of how well bees can handle their temps. Mine are just under 6800 Ft. and I'm more afraid of a skunk than the cold. But if it really bothers you ask GeeBeeNC to keep em in coastal Carolina for your winters. Pick em up in April. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Snow covered hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Put two cedar shingle shims under a migratory cover and one part way across the resulting space and you'll have a nice sized opening for winter (break the last shim off at whatever size youwant for the opening). Or put shims under the inner cover the same way. Or cut a notch in the "taller" side of an inner cover.

    Here's a picture of one from a migratory during the flow. I've added a shim to reduce the entrance some for the winter. I don't have a picture of that:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Migr...pEntrance2.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Migr...pEntrance1.JPG
    Is this something you set up to use just for the winter? if not, how do you keep robbers out during the season? Also what is "a migatory during the flow"?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,865

    Default Re: Snow covered hive

    All bee keeping is local, but I have never seen a colony smother covered with snow. Granted it has always been a dryer area where I have had my experience. I intentionally put colonies behind dense hedges and hoped for a couple feet deep snow over them. Last year a commercial guy here got caught with a couple hundred colonies in yards high in the mountains and they couldn't get to them to dig them out til April. They never made it west to pollinate almonds but they did winter fine buried many feet deep from late October on.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,305

    Default Re: Snow covered hive

    Well, since I keep bees in a snowy location, I should relate a story.

    We had a very snowy year, must have been in the '90s. Every colony was buried...well above the outer covers. When March came, some first flight days were predicted and the hives were buried. So, we dedided to dig them out.

    Trouble was...we couldn't find the yards. From landmarks, I knew I must be close...wearing snowshoes. Yep, we were close...actually we were standing on top of the hives. They were buries so deeply that a long handled shovel had to be poked down into the snow. Nothing...nothing..thump-thump.

    We dug out what we could find, but some we couldn't. The warmth of the bees melted cavities around the hives. Nothing suffocated.

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