Last week I finished medicating (apistan, terramycin, etc) and wrapping up (1 layer tar paper) my three hives.
After being away from the house since then, I left for work this morning at 7am to find that the strongest hive, and only the strongest one, had a huge number of bees clustered on the front of the hive, above the entrance reducer.
Any ideas why on earth they would do this?
Other items to note about this hive.
1) This hive still has some brood developing in it.
2) This hive was SO full of bees and honey that I left it stacked three deeps high.
3) As with the above items, when I finished medicating all the hives, I found this hive had a very large number of drones in the colony.
Any thoughts on this? anything else I should look for or do? :?:
Since this hive is very strong, they were controlling temperature by coming out of the hive. What was the air temperature at the time?
I would not be too concerned with them just being outside the hive.
I donÂ’t know how close to the reservoir you are, but if you are close and it is damp, make sure that the hive has good ventilation.
The drones may just have not been pushed out yet.
But you said you still had brood, was it worker or only drone?
Sorry to hear you use Terra. When you wrapped your hives, did you by any chance close off some upper entrance or ventilation hole. There needs to be some flow of air through the hive. If it's that tight now, it seems like it will hold in some dampness which is what kills, not the cold. Bees don't heat the actual box.
I have hives in Warren Ct. It never occurred to me to wrap. I did just finish putting up a wind fence though.
Re:drones. I haven't seen a drone in quite awhile. The queen may be running out of semen and laying infertile eggs in worker cells. That's the tip-off. Lots of bullet capped brood in the center of a comb where th worker cells are. Check it out. Are the bees angry? You could also have a laying worker. If you have an infertile queen the hive may expire. They need to start new brood about Feb.
Here in upstate New York, where the temps go down to -20 to -30 F plus snow and wind I do not wrap my hives. My bees seem to do well, but I do have dark colored hives. I figure that in the summer they can fly and get water to cool off but in the winter they need the sun's heat to warm them up and a dark colored hive will do that thereby no need to wrap. Saves me time and money doing it that way. I have been doing that for 30 years with very little loss of bees.
FYI: Air temperature 30F, full sunny day, 13 of 15 colonies using internal jar feeders when checked today. This time of year and late winter, wrapping allows the clusters to break and feed on sunny days. Jar feeders placed along sides that face the sun.