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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    west by god virginia
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    6

    Question

    can i move frames of honey from older hives to newer ones for feeding over winter?

  2. #2
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Yes, Trading frames from one hive to another is done by most beekeepers from time to time. Moving frames of honey to help a weak hive, to frames of brood to help a hive build up faster.

    The most important thing to remember is KNOW the hive you're taking the frame from. If there is any diseases in/on the frame you are removing from the old hive you will transfer the disease to the new hive. Most diseases of the honey bee can be transfered this way.

    BB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,742

    Post

    It's also helpful to move it and have some time before winter sets in for them to be aware of it. The bees have a map in their head of the hive and if they don't realize there are stores overhead they won't go there when they are clustered.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    "The bees have a map in their head of the hive"

    I don't think they are that intelligent.
    I've gone out in dead of winter and plopped honey supers on hives low on stores and they moved right up onto it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I have seen them move right in and I've seen them not. They built the hive. It's their house. They know where they put everything because they put it there. I have not had any of my bees starve, but I've seen instances where they did with stores over their heads that they did not put there.

    I don't see why you have trouble believing they know where something in their hive is when I can drop them off anywhere in a two mile radius and they will fly straight home. They have memorized all the landmarks for two miles around their house. You think they don't know where they put the honey last fall? And how high up the hive goes?



    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited September 05, 2003).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    536

    Post

    It's a good point, Michael. Goldenrod is starting here, and I put some empty supers on last week. Still no nectar stored. As you say, it seems like it takes them a while to realize that something has changed.

    ------------------
    Rob Koss

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    "You think they don't know where
    they put the honey last fall?"


    No, I do not. I seriously doubt that the bees consuming the winter stores where
    even around when that honey was stored.
    The bees that did store that fall honey
    (and according to you, know where it is,)
    are probable lying dead just outside the hive. Instinct tells them that is where it should be.

    There are other factors that can contribute to a colony starving, not simple because it ran out of stores. During extended cold periods the bees may lose contact with the
    honey due to a tighter cluster and then starve. There is also population and health going into winter.

    The bees might not have moved into the added super simple because their mass was not big enough, I doubt it very much that the reason was "they did not know it was there".

    I don't see why you have trouble believing they know where
    something in their hive is when I can drop them off anywhere
    in a two mile radius and they will fly straight home.
    They have memorized all the landmarks for two miles
    around their house.


    Bees locating their hives from a distance and bees knowing the contains of the hive are two totally different subjects.
    Just because bees can locate their hives
    from a distance doesn't mean that they know the contains of the hive.
    My dog knows her way home too if I drop her off anywhere in a two mile radius but she doesn't know that there is a steak in the freezer.

    And how high up the hive goes?
    No I do not beleive that they have a set (go no further) upper limit. I beleive that the normal winter movement of a cluster
    is up, always up.(Instinct again) As long as there is honey in the upway direction, the bees will migrate up.



    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited September 06, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,619

    Post

    When emergency feeding hives, new combs of food placed directly beside the cluster will always be eaten, unless the cold weather prevents the cluster from moving over.
    I don't think it is a matter of the bees knowing what food is up above them, but rather them moving into food that should be there for them.

    Ian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,742

    Post

    >No, I do not. I seriously doubt that the bees consuming the winter stores where
    even around when that honey was stored.

    The last of it was stored in the fall when brood rearing had tapered off. I'm quite sure there are bees that were alive when that occured. A young field bee that only made a few hundred trips to that super would remember where she was storing things.

    Regardless the bees are investigating the hive and discovering where things are if it is warm enough to do so even if they didn't store it, which is why I would put the honey on early. It's also why you often succeed in just plopping a super of honey on even in the middle of winter. A few warm days can make a huge difference in the end results. After they are clustered exploring is only possible on a warm day. Part of the problem is also the gap between the lower box (with the cluster) and the upper box that has been added. Will they cross it? If they know something is there, yes. If not, then they may assume they ran out of honey.

    >There are other factors that can contribute to a colony starving, not simple because it ran out of stores. During extended cold periods the bees may lose contact with the
    honey due to a tighter cluster and then starve. There is also population and health going into winter.

    Certainly these are all factors. But bees are raised not only in vertical hives, such as we have but trough hives such as many people in the world use and in fallen hollow trees as well as upright hollow trees and in attic rafters etc. The point being that not all hives are vertical and the honey is often horizontal. They seem to survive quite well in these hives in spite of the fact that the honey is not overhead. So they will move sideways to find honey as well as up.

    >The bees might not have moved into the added super simple because their mass was not big enough, I doubt it very much that the reason was "they did not know it was there".

    It's simply a matter of continuing their upward movement in either case. What does mass have to do with it? It's not unusual to find a cluster "between" boxes with part of the cluster below and part above. This is just a gradual migration, not a wholesale move.

    >Bees locating their hives from a distance and bees knowing the contains of the hive are two totally different subjects.

    Different but similar. Both require a mental map. If the issue is what their brains are capable of, mapping a lot of terrain is more complex than mapping a small hive.

    >My dog knows her way home too if I drop her off anywhere in a two mile radius but she doesn't know that there is a steak in the freezer.

    I bet your dog would know it was there if she put it there.

    >No I do not beleive that they have a set (go no further) upper limit. I beleive that the normal winter movement of a cluster
    is up, always up.(Instinct again) As long as there is honey in the upway direction, the bees will migrate up.

    You are entitled to you opinion. They will go up if it warms up long enough for them to find the honey there. I still think it's better to add the honey early rather than late. If you don't like my intial reasons, try an early winter and you don't want to open it up and let all the heat out.

    Certainly in a warm climate this is all unimportant because they always have warm days to explore and rearrange stores.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Post

    They know where they put everything because they put it there.

    Regardless the bees are investigating the hive and discovering where things are if it is warm enough to do so even if they didn't store it,

    So what is it?
    They KNOW it because they put it there or they DISCOVER it?

    A little back-pedaling there?


    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited September 06, 2003).]

    [This message has been edited by The Honey House (edited September 06, 2003).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    No I'm not backpedaling. It all depends on the weather. If you put it there early and the bees have time to become aware of it and to get it ingrained in their little brains that it is there, then later they find it. If you put it there later and it gets cold and stays cold and they don't get warm days to explore more then they don't find it. If you put it there and some warm days occur in the middle of winter and they get a chance to explore more they are more likely to find it. It takes a general consensus for bees as a cluster to do anything, so you have to have all the bees thinking the same way. If only a few have it in their heads that it is there, they won't find it. If a lot of them have it in their heads, they will remember where it is.

    That's why I've been saying you need to do it earlier rather than later. It may work fine later or not depending on the weather. Not just how cold but how cold for how long.

    I think it's obvious you aren't going to see it that way, so it's probably not very profitable to continue the discussion. I think I've clarified my opinion and I think I know yours.

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