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Thread: wintering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    California- bay area
    Posts
    188

    Post

    I know its a little early to talk about this but one on my hives is in an area were the temperature is forty degrees in the afternoon and 30 degrees at night from the end of November to the beginning of February, and rarely rises from that. Would it be OK to put that Styrofoam insulation around the hive to make it easier for the bees to keep warm.

    Joseph

  2. #2
    Kevin S. Lunsford Guest

    Post

    Styrofoam has no "R" value and will not do anything to your hive. A normal size colony with good honey stores can keep itself warm, even with a screened bottom board. The northern bees may need a heavy wrap (long winters and/or very low temps.)or taken inside. Just have a young queen, a strong colony, plenty of honey and pollen, full sun and your girls will take care of themselves all winter. Also don't forget the Fumidil-B for winter stress (nosema).
    Kevin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    Don't waste your time if that is the normal cold temp for your area. You need no protection for your bees unless you really want too. The bees just generate heat, the boxes are mostly just a wind break. So the most important thing is to have an abundance of HONEY on the hive which the bees fuel themselves to generate that heat and pollen for spring brooding. You'll find that bees really don't need too much pampering. It is NOT too earliy for thinking about winter right now is the right time. If you requeen in the fall August is the month. So if you raise your own queens get the grafting equip. out (or other). Will you make up fall nucs to over winter?

    Regards,

    Clay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    California- bay area
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Kevin wrote:
    Styrofoam has no "R" value and will not do anything to your hive. A normal size colony with good honey stores can keep itself warm

    I wasn't talking about Styrofoam as insulation, they make an insulation that looks like Styrofoam and that was the only way I could describe it, sorry for the confusion.

    You also wrote:
    Just have a young queen, a strong colony, plenty of honey and pollen, full sun...

    I think my bees have plenty of honey and pollen, but where I live we only get full sun in the spring and summer that's why I thought they might need insulation.

    Clay wrote:
    If you requeen in the fall August is the month. So if you raise your own queens get the grafting equip. out (or other). Will you make up fall nucs to over winter?

    Should I start making a queen now? since I have just two hives should I make only two fall nucs?(I've never tried to make a queen its my first year)

    Joseph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    California- bay area
    Posts
    188

    Post

    Also I know one queen is a '02 and I think the other hive might have an '02 queen it was a late swarm in october.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Your winter temperatures sound similar to mine. Insulation was tried in the UK, many years ago, and was abandoned as a waste of time. Just let the bees get on with it, they'll be fine.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    Should I start making a queen now? since I have just two hives should I make only two fall nucs?(I've never tried to make a queen its my first year)

    reply:

    Yup. Make two or one. To make one nuc take two frames from one and three from another. If its your first time just make a walk away split(nuc) letting the bees just make a cell. Just make sure you have larvae that are very young and shake two frames extra of bees into the nuc as many will return to the parent.

    Clay


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