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Thread: help please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    indiana, laporte
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    ok, i was bitten by the bee bug, i just got a hive from a local beekeeper, he is being helpful but i am worried about stores for the winter, when i pulled the frames and did a hive inspection it looks like the hive has very little in the way of stores to make it though the winter. i have been feeding them a sugar solution. would it be helpfull to buy some honey and pour it in the combs for them? thanks

  2. #2
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Nickoli, First I'd like to welcome you to beesource.

    Ok lesson one, never feed honey to your hives if you don't know where the honey came from. Even if the honey came from a friend.

    Honey can have any number of diseases from another hive, and unless you are 100% sure that the honey came out of a clean hive never feed it to one of yours. Now some may say that it's ok if you heat the honey to 150 deg's, to kil all the bad stuff, but I wouldn't even feed that to my hives. It's to big of a risk. I like my hives too much and spent too much time and money on them.

    If you are realy unsure about the winter stores, feed feed feed. I'd go to a 2 to 1 sugar water mix. How are you feeding the mix? Look at some of the top hive feeders in the "Plans Built It" link. You will find it at the home page of beesource.com. Also how much honey is in the hive? Do you have a super full or 2 supers? Just a few frames? Let us know. I'm sure we have members that live in Indiana, that should be able to tell you how much you need of winter stores.

    Give us some more information so we can help you. Hope this helps.

    BB

  3. #3
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    I would not pour honey in the frames. I would continue feeding, with a internal feeder. They will feed longer from one within the hive as the temps cool. You can then add a feeder just above the inner cover holes when the temps go below 50 degrees.Use an extra box between the inner cover and top. This since you do not want to open the hive after it get below 50.
    Ask for some local help. It is starting to get late in the year for light hives. You may find someone to help you with a few frames of capped honey. This would make a big difference.

    Also, make some sugar candy/patties. Place these inside the hive as emergency feed as a last resort. And see about some pollen substitute to place on the top of the frames. They need this for brood rearing and this is vital come Feb/Mar.

    This will sound nuts to some but.....If the hive is close to your house, and a few extra dollars in electricity wouldn't kill you, then get a pet/animal heating pad. For perhaps the coldest part of the winter, place under the hive and it will keep the hive from at least freezing and can keep the hive warm enough for them to feed.

    That local beekeeper can be a big help and hopefully he is. But he also gave you a hard road to get them down if in fact they are light on stores. See if he can help out with a honey super or at least advice. You still have a good month to feed. Just keep it filled for them.


  4. #4
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    Sep 2003
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    indiana, laporte
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    looking at the frames i might have only one frame full of honey, i have three supers of frames on the bees. i suspect the person that i got the hive from may have taken too much honey out, i am feeding a 2:1 sugar mixture via a jar feeder that slips under the lip of the bottom board. i take it that store bought honey would be usless then to try and bulk up their stores? thanks

  5. #5
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    The "boardman" type feeder your using is the first type of feeder the bees will stop feeding from. The liquid gets cold at night and takes to long to warm up in the morning. Feed internally or above the inner cover. Use one of your supers (empty and placed on top of the inner cover)and just stick the feeder your using now right up against the inner cover holes. And if you have more than one feeder stick more in. Use quart jars. Then put the top on.

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited September 25, 2003).]

  6. #6
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    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    yes feed more then one quart at the time.

    I have four quarts going at a time in one of my hives,( combined a hived being robbed).

    I placed an empty spare deep box on top, and placed four quart jars of syrup over the frames and then covered with inner and outer cover.

    There are lots of bees in this colony now and it looks like they'll store about a gallon and a half this week. Time is running out for them to put up stores, depending on where you are.

  7. #7
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    I agree with BjornBee.

    To get some feed to the hive sooner. Just punch some small holes in the lids of some quart jars. You don't have to use any feeders just turn the jars upside down on the top bars of the hive. Remove the frames from one or two of the supers that you have and put them on top of the brood box. You can use 4 to 8 jars, and that will keep plenty of feed in the top of the hive.

    BB

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    I don't know where in Indiana you are but I am near Lansing Michigan and I have found that to overwinter here the bees need at least 100 pounds of stores to overwinter well. I normally overwinter 3 hives here and leave at least 120 to 130 puonds on each hive.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    napoleon ohio
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    Clint is right about 100 pounds plus for winter stores.I am in north west Ohiom not far from clint and try to leave 120 pounds on.If you are in suthern Indiana you might get them enough to get buy. I might be asking the beekeeper why you got such a lite hive this time of year he should know better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Greetings nickoli,

    Welcome to Beesource.com

    Heres what the textbooks say your FALL CONDITIONS (in midwest states) should be at close of brood rearing:<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    ]*]Productive queen.
    <LI>Bees covering 20 or more frames. Workers that cover 10-15 frames.
    <LI>45 lbs honey in top chamber in DARK brood combs (7 fully sealed frames w/ 3 middle frames 1/2 to 2/3 full).
    <LI>15 to 30 lbs honey in middle chamber (2 fully sealed, 2 1/2-full, 2 1/3-full, 4 middle empty).
    <LI>10 to 20 lbs honey in bottom chamber (3 fully sealed, 4 1/3 full, 3 empty).
    <LI>500 sq in of pollen (1 side = 136 sq in) (3 to 5 frames well-filled) divided between all chambers (amount desirable but seldom attained).
    <LI>Colony must be "disease-free".
    <LI>Reduced lower entrance (1/4x3) and 1" auger hole in uppermost chamber.
    <LI>Protection from wind.
    <LI>Maximum exposure to sunshine (during winter [DW])
    <LI>Good air drainage.
    <LI>Hive stand to provide dead-air space under hive.[/list]

    Please revise your 'Profile' w/ your location in Indiana, it will be very useful in the future.

    Good Luck!
    Dave W


    [This message has been edited by Dave W (edited September 26, 2003).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Greetings nickoli,

    Welcome to Beesource.com

    Heres what the textbooks say your FALL CONDITIONS (in midwest states) should be at close of brood rearing:<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
    Productive queen.
    Bees covering 20 or more frames. Workers that cover 10-15 frames.
    45 lbs honey in top chamber in DARK brood combs (7 fully sealed frames w/ 3 middle frames 1/2 to 2/3 full).
    15 to 30 lbs honey in middle chamber (2 fully sealed, 2 1/2-full, 2 1/3-full, 4 middle empty).
    10 to 20 lbs honey in bottom chamber (3 fully sealed, 4 1/3 full, 3 empty).
    500 sq in of pollen (1 side = 136 sq in) (3 to 5 frames well-filled) divided between all chambers (amount desirable but seldom attained).
    Colony must be "disease-free".
    Reduced lower entrance (1/4x3) and 1" auger hole in uppermost chamber.
    Protection from wind.
    Maximum exposure to sunshine (during winter [DLW])
    Good air drainage.
    Hive stand to provide dead-air space under hive.[/list]

    Please revise your 'Profile' w/ your location in Indiana, it will be very useful in the future.

    Good Luck!
    Dave W

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    indiana, laporte
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    ok,i checked the hive again tonight, i had added a mouse guard, narrowed the entrance to a little over an inch and added a bag syle feeder to the top of the hive(added an empty super for space)last night. i am noticing hornets on the bag feeder and on average about 10-20 german(baldface) hornets bothering the bees on the outside. is it normal to see yellowjackets in the hive? also i am getting some loss to drowning with the bag feeders(about 5 bees) is this normal?
    also it looks like the bees enjoy the bag feeder a lot.
    thanks, this is a great board for bee questions.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    There are always a few bees that die when feeding. Some drown, some were about to die anayway. If you have a lot of bees dying, then I'd worry.

    I agree with the "textbook" answer above, but you may or may not had a textbook hive. How many frames really covered in bees do you have? How many frames full of stores do you have? The amount of stores needed is proportional to the amount of bees (sort of). A smaller number of bees will have more trouble keeping warm and therefore, may use more honey, per bee, than a larger cluster.

    I've often speculated on whether warmer weather uses more stores than colder weather. I'm really not sure if they use more or less. I've seen situations where they seemed to use more and some where they seemed to use less. Maybe it's dependant on the frugality of the bees themselves. All in all, though, I'm guessing that some warmth would be helpful if you want to provide it by some means. I've considered an old waterbed heater, but haven't tried it.


  14. #14
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    The source is not at my fingertips, but I read that the ideal temp for bees to overwinter is between 45-50 degrees. They are not active enough to burn alot of honey, but its not cold enough to hurt a medium cluster. I would not consider alternative heat source unless temps were below freezing for periods of time.

    If anyone in cold country can, put the hives up against the sunny side of a garage/house. There is a reason why spring flowers come out so early along homes. It can be 15-20 warmer along the sunny side wall. And this heat permeates into the soil and helps keep things warmer at night through convection.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    I have an ideal spot to move my hives for the winter, but I don't know when to relocate the hives. I guess I should get started doing this before it gets too cold. I have one hive that is in the shade all the time now due to the change of season.

    I guess that's not good.

    The best place for them in the spring/summer is on the east side of the trees facing southeast, is that right? I have that but it's in the horse pasture. I wonder if they'd be ok down in there?

    Does anyone have their hives in a horse pasture?

  16. #16
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    Aug 2002
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    Mine are in the horse pasture, but they are fenced off. Even then the young ones will reach over and steal anything they can reach. Without the fence I have no doubt they would knock them over. Either by accident while sratching, or on purpose for the fun of it. But fenced off, it works fine as long as they can't reach over and mess with things.


  17. #17
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    Thanks Micheal, I guess I'll not take that chance.

    I have another tree line on back up the way but I've been spoiled having my bees so close to the back door. I'd have to drive to the spot each time in the truck or the tractor.

    I guess driving the garden tractor over would be ok though now that I think about it. It has a wagon.

    This is where I'll place my increases next year. Very well then..... I'm set.

    ;^)


  18. #18
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    I've enjoyed having bees by my back door too. But sometimes I've had them turn vicious on me and I wished they weren't there.

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