Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    MARCH - What should we be doing?
    First? Inspection - When?
    Feeding?
    Medication?
    Reversing?
    _____________________________________________
    Based on everyones comments, here's my FEBRUARY to-do list:

    *INSPECT on mild, windless day, take a quick peek inside hive. If no honey in frame tops - start emergency feeding w/ frame of honey OR empty comb filled w/ thick(2:1)syrup OR put in division board feeder.
    *MEDICATE w/Menthol-and-oil paper towels. Check grease patty. Treat w/Terramycin/powered sugar on ends of frame top-bars.
    *FEED pollen substitute. Provide water (in hive?) for brood rearing.


    Thanx
    Dave W

    [This message has been edited by Dave W (edited March 07, 2003).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    If you don't get a 60 degree day and the bees aren't flying then I wouldn't do anything. If you have a gorgeous day and the bees are flying, you could take a peek inside and see what's up. See if there's brood, what kind of stores are left etc.

    The problem is that the answers as to what to do are all "it depends" kind of answers.

    If I had a hive with lots of stores, lots of honey and lots of pollen, I might start stimulation feeding in March if the weather was nice enough(here in South Eastern Nebraska). The warmer the climate the sooner you could start.

    The danger in stimulation feeding too early is the bees use up a lot of stores (and especially pollen) to raise the brood and then the new bees are eating more stores and you can rapidly use up all of the stores.

    On the other hand, if you don't stimulate, maybe the honey flow will pass before the population builds up. I would NOT do stimulation feeding if they are short on stores. It seems kind of backwards, because if they are short you'd think I'd want to feed them, but here, the weather will quickly get too cold for them to use the feeder and now there are more bees eating the stores. It only makes a bad situation worse.

    Now if I have some boxes of honey in combs, I might give those to a hive that's short on stores, because it will feed them without stimulating them to make brood. I try to keep a couple of boxes of honey in brood frames around for this possibility. Of course the wax moths sometimes interfere with my plans.

  3. #3

    Question

    Warmed up here in Virginia for a bit, very windy however. The bees were flying and I couldn't contain my curiosity on how things looked in the hives. My question is on the use of smoke in this cool weather, bees breaking cluster time of year. I didn't use any smoke but didn't do much inspecting below the honey super either. If my goal is to reverse my brood chambers then I might want to settle these girls down some. In all my reading I know I should inspect and reverse but nothing seen regarding the use of smoke.

    Comments? Thanks in advance.

    Pete0
    Bena, VA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    I only know what I do. I generally don't use much smoke on a warm day in a cool month unless they are acting a bit agressive. I just try to be as gentle as I can. Usually, if they aren't too agitated, I try to avoid using smoke at all, but I always have a smoker handy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    When and if you reverse your brood boxes, you will want to wait till the temperatures / spring is here for real. You do not want to reverse boxes while the temperatures are cold. You want to use as little smoke as possible, just to settle the bees down.
    Right now, you can listen to the hive and locate the cluster. It will give you an idea where your bees are.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    Thanks Michael,
    After reading that it appears to me that it is meant for the upper tier of the states. Re; June main flow, I think the main flow in my area is late April through May. Also it shuts down the bees about a month earlier too?

    It also states not to reverse until April. Something that I have been wondering about is George Imeries Pink Pages recomending starting to reverse in Feburary and reversing up to four times... depending on brood box size. What area is he from, and how would that recomendation relate to our areas? You being at least 2 - 3 weeks later than me.
    Bill



    [This message has been edited by BULLSEYE BILL (edited February 06, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    George Imire is from Maryland. I would guess between being more south and being closer to the ocean it would be a milder and warmer climate.

    George's theory on reversing is that the bees start making brood in February and the queen doesn't tend to move down to do this.

    My theory on reversing is that I don't want the bees to continue to move up looking for food, as they do in the winter, into an empty box with no stores.

    George says, and I concur with him, that you don't ever want to reverse when the bees are clustered because you will break up the cluster.

    I don't reverse mine until I'm sure winter is pretty much over, meaning maybe we'll get a few days of winter weather but it won't set back in for weeks at a time. Usually, here, this is sometime in the middle of March. But some years it's more like the first of April.

    George says reversing in February is to prevent swarming. I have never had problems with early swarms, but this last year I had a lot of summer swarms.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    When reversing it is best to go by what is occuring seasonally than the calendar. I usually reverse when I see the first dandelion sometimes a bit earlier. Some like to play it safe and wait a little later. There is some flexiblity. I only reverse once as standard and manipulate the frame later if needed.


    Clay

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    I forgot to mention that in some cases some colonies will work down all on there own and you need not do any thing other than open up a bit later on.

    Clay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    By 'open up' I think you mean manipulating the frames, I have heard some say to never change the frame relationship and others say that it is ok to move the stores closer to the brood. Your comments please.

    One thing I would like to do is change the positioning to reflect the correct Housel position. Do you think that I could move the outer frames while the bees are clustered without any problem? And if I do this, should I move the ones with honey closer to the cluster? All this is assuming that I can catch a nice day in the fifties or better to do it. I have one of those canvas aprons that allow me to remove one frame at a time while keeping the rest of the box covered.
    So far all my hives are in good shape and half of them are still in the bottom brood box. My lightest hive has moved up, which concerns me as that particular brood box was not filled with honey. As a precaution I have syrup feeders and terripatties (sp) already on all my hives.
    Bill

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Post

    >By 'open up' I think you mean manipulating the frames, I have heard some say to never change the frame relationship and others say that it is ok to move the stores closer to the brood. Your comments please.

    I think there are two issues in why you might NOT want to change the frame relationship. One is that frames are not drawn exactly evenly and if you crowd one too much the bees have to tear one of them down to get the right space between. If they don't get the right space sometimes the brood has trouble emerging and the bees have trouble getting to things to keep them warm. So you need to make sure you don't have a bunch of honey protruding into the face of some brood on the next comb. You'll notice the brood is pretty even, but the honey around it sticks out more or less. But you can be careful of this.

    The other is the housel positioning theory, but you can put some comb back in correctly.

    If we are talking about when there's a nectar flow, then I move them around with the intent to get some of the honey out of a honey bound brood nest and give the queen more room to lay. Sometimes you're culling brood comb. Somtimes you're trying to swap out large cell for small cell, depending on what your goals are.

    If you're talking about when the nectar flow hasn't started yet, then you want stores available to the nurse bees and the cluster.

    Feeding of course can provide some stores for them to put where they want, but you don't want to over do it and have a honey bound brood nest.

    Too bad nothing seems to have a yes or no answer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Bill,

    By 'open up' I think you mean manipulating the frames, I have heard some say to never change the frame relationship and others say that it is ok to move the stores closer to the brood. Your comments please.

    reply;

    Yes I mean manipulate the frames here. This is in the spring after pollen and nectar are coming in from the maples and dandies are just starting. Now I use unlimted broodnests here (three deep). I have more leeway here as the bees can work up into the third deep before hitting inner cover and there will be much more pollen and stores than in doubles. When I reverse the top two boxes are slid back and off. Then onto BB with the bottom empty box placed on top. Now there is often a honey barrier between the second and the third as there is a good amount of stores in this method of management. The bees will be brooded up in the two bottom boxes and you want to draw them up. So one needs to "open up" so the bees can get through the barrier. This can be done by baiting up with some brood and shuffling around the stores so the bees can go up. Yet in all cases you need to make a judgement call for what is best. Kind of flex and adapt with the situation each year. I also add wet honey supers at or near this time to stimulate. Kinda draws the girls up.

    Do you think that I could move the outer frames while the bees are clustered without any problem?

    reply:

    Yes. But I'd wait. Bees do better without the beekeeper messing around. One can easily flip the combs around later.

    And if I do this, should I move the ones with honey closer to the cluster?

    reply:

    Yes. Stratch off some cappings to let the bees get at the honey.

    Clay


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    MARCH - (Pussywillow buds are showing white!)
    What should we be doing?
    Remove insulation (Insulite) board?
    Open hive?
    Inspect how? what? when?
    Unite weak colonies?
    Reverse?
    Assess Varroa mite levels:
    Drone Brood Inspection Method
    Powered Sugar Shake Method
    Natural Fall on sticky board
    What medications?
    Feed pollen substitute?
    Feed syrup?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,199

    Post

    MARCH - (Pussywillow buds are showing white!)
    What should we be doing?
    Remove insulation (Insulite) board?
    Open hive?
    Inspect how? what? when?
    Unite weak colonies?
    Reverse?
    Assess Varroa mite levels:
    Drone Brood Inspection Method
    Powered Sugar Shake Method
    Natural Fall on sticky board
    What medications?
    Feed pollen substitute?
    Feed syrup?

    The first mistake you can make is working the bees too early. Mistake made by all beekeepers in their lifetime, but never again!! Your location being central Alberta, winter is still not over..... If you do anything right now, on the next warm day ( if we ever get one) when the bees are fling or on a melting day with no wind, breafly open the hives to assess their food stores. DON"T break the brood cluster unless you have temperature well above 10 degrees C. Centre the cluster if needed, feed sugar candy to them if emergency feeding is needed, but that is about all you can and should do now.
    I beekeep in southern Mb. April 1st I feed dry soyflour to my yards. Mid April, is when I unpack my hives, medicate, remove deadouts, and feed if necissary. I am getting anxtious to check my hives for food stores, so probably get into them on the next warm flying day. It has been a really cold winter this year here in Mb, had the hives overly heavey this fall, good thing, eh........
    Sometimes our manipulations in the hives do more harm than good. Let them do their thing

    Ian

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads