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Thread: Wrapping

  1. #41
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    Maybe it would help more if you read them.

    If the hive is warmer inside due to insulation why would the bees expend the same energy to create less heat. (AHA!)

    I reread you post and see you winter inside and wrap. I want to winter inside. What's a brief of your program.

    [size="1"][ December 06, 2005, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

  2. #42
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    >As I read this again I realized I didn't know which way you were headed over the fence?

    I have never wrapped, except for a group of nucs last winter. I was considering wrapping, but was still trying to figure out the condensation problem when I wrapped the nucs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #43
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    May 2004
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    My hives are wrapped with the black felt paper, but my concern is that I am losing too many bees to the act of flying out into freezing (16 degree) weather and then dying within yards of the hive. This only happens on the sunny days.

    I feel that the black paper (which is warm to the touch on the sunny days) is fooling the bees into mass suicide. It is sad to look at all the bees dead in the snow.

    Would they not be better off without the black felt?

  4. #44
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    Then were headed in the same direction. I have not put much effort in wintering over the last 10 years due our southern yards. I have wintered bees but my purpose was to do 15 or 20 hives and then haul the surviors down in the spring for breeding. I'd be happy to hear any consclusions you come to on condensation, a huge problem here. I'll post anything I find. Any feedback on bees exiting due to warm temps in the hive.

  5. #45
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    I have been following this thread hoping to hear a clear consensis. So far I am not sure where anyone stands. How about a vote...a sound off


    Wrap yes
    Wrap no
    Insulate yes
    Insulate no

    This would sure help me follow yor reasoning.

  6. #46
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    HAHAHA-HA A concensus among beekeepers, and on beesource!

    We raise an idea which everyone promptly pummels to withing an inch of it's life using experiance, published scientific studies, rank rumors and any possible hypothesis. (great for learing). We try to use as many big words as possible (except on taligater which has been suspended because of Bjorn and Bubba bob who is in exile) We then put that into a grist mill and grind it until it is as fine as talcum powder. We all make our best informed decision from the facts and apply them in our operations getting a wide variety of impossibly different results. That's beekeeping. But boy do we have fun.

    You could try doing a poll though. (see post a poll below).

    [size="1"][ December 06, 2005, 09:05 PM: Message edited by: Joel ][/size]

  7. #47
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    >We then put that into a grist mill and grind it until it is as fine as talcum powder

    And then what- dust our hives with it?

    Just about laughed myself silly there Joel.

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #48
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    Ah... well, it was worth a try.
    I cant wait till I learn enough big words and facts and figures to argue with the big boys.

  9. #49
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    Jan 2003
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    medesto,indiana,usa
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    I like to wrap in black or tinted saran wrap its cheap and easy to wrap a hive with about 1.50 a roll.The tint provides a dark surface like the tar paper to increase solar gain.

  10. #50
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    I place an empty box on top of the hive.
    I place granular sugar on paper on the top bars.
    I wrap my hives with black felt paper.

    Bees flying out into cold temperatures and dying: I have not seen this as a problem. Bees die everyday in the life of a colony, the dead are removed from the hive whenever possible. Many times during the winter they are dropped just outside the hive and litter the snow. Bees during winter will fly out and collect water from the top of the snow, and some do not make it back. Bees take cleansing flights and some will not make it back. Things however need to be put into perspective, remember there are 20 – 30, 000 bees in your winter cluster.

    Condensation: I have found that using an empty box, paper, and granular sugar work to resolve my moisture issues. The paper and granular sugar absorb water vapor. Being placed in the center of the hive, the warm moist air is forced to flow around it to the edges of the hive boxes. Any moisture that condenses on the inner cover and falls back down – falls onto the sugar / paper. I have found condensate frozen along the top edges of the empty hive box. This moisture will drip down the side walls and not down on the cluster.

  11. #51
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    Thanks Joel, but I think I'll skip the post-a-poll. I pretty much figure I would get ..

    100 responses-
    75 for
    75 against

    position noted franc, medesto in zone 5?

  12. #52
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    With this topic just like every topic with beekeeping, there are many answers and options. Much of this is based on the wide range of climates and environments that everyone is keeping bees in.

  13. #53
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    >>If the hive is warmer inside due to insulation why would the bees expend the same energy to create less heat.

    No, they expend the same energy, but hold a larger, looser cluster.
    Boy, now my head is starting to spinn!!

    >>my concern is that I am losing too many bees to the act of flying out into freezing (16 degree) weather and then dying within yards of the hive. This only happens on the sunny days.


    Well, I dont believe that is the reason they are leaveing the hive. I beleive they are leaving due to they are stressed and are nearing death, so they vacate the hive, just as they would during the summer. Mild spell just present the oportuity to break cluster and activly fly away.

    I keep bees inside. And guess what. The bees do the exact same thing indoors. My wintering sheds are completely dark 24 hours and my temp is maintained @ 2 degrees C. Yet my floor is still littered with bees.
    But I have found a pattern (over the last few years of limited experience). More bees vacate the hives before christmas than after christmas. Why? I think it is the older summerbees that were still hanging in the hive as the hive prepaired for winter. After christmas, I start loosing alot of bees as spring comes,and the hives start to get restless.
    Why would it be any different with outdoor hives. And think of it, if it were actually true, why does the majority of the cluster stay inside?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #54
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    Michael,if you have been successfully wintering bees without further winter prep, then why start now?

    I believe that wrapping gives my hives a dramatic advantage throughout winter. Helps settle my nerves also!!

    But I also believe that they would winter just fine throughout the most of the cold periods of winter successfully without wrap. And that is until spring, where sudden warming/cold snaps start killing off even the best of them, and food stores start to fall short.
    As I see it, you dont get those late winter/early spring killer cold troughs. So heavey wrapping would just be time and money wasted. Perhaps even light wrapping depending on where you winter your bees.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #55
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    Indoor wintering, breif overview,

    You need to be in an area there is a long cold wintering period, to make it feasable, and to properly maintain a consistant wintering temp inside the chamber.

    Bring your hives in on the onset of winter, usually just before a cold snap in early NOV.

    Hives must bein complete darkness til set out in April on a warming trend.

    Ventalation requerments- 70 liters/second air exchange per hive.

    Circulation of air in chamber at all times to mix out the CO2 layers and keep the room at a consistant temp floor to ceiling. Important when hives are stacked 8 high.

    Heat source needed, only during cold snaps. I keep my room @ 2 degrees C. The heater only comes on for the short periods during -30 degree weather.

    As temp rises comming spring, Air exchange is increased to help maintain lower temps in the room otherwise the bees will climb everywhere outside there hives. THey can tolerate a few hours @15degreesC, but only for one or two spaced days as spring sets in.

    Must be sure to set the bees out on a warming trend. They are not winter hardend, and cnat take extended cold periods when set outside. It is why it is important to get them through some warm days inthe chamber as spring arrives, to avoid settng them out in a cold snap.

    Winter smaller hives indoors, which will produce much the same a outdoor wintered hives. Winter losses varry dependingon theyear B/W the two methods. But my wintering as both, the averages prevail.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #56
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    >Michael,if you have been successfully wintering bees without further winter prep, then why start now?

    That's why it's a hard decision for me. But since I started rearing queens, I need more bees sooner so I have enough to to make up mating nucs and cell builders and such and I've been trying to overwinter nucs so I can sell them and have more queens in the spring. I am afraid I'll make things worse instead of better. But so many people keep saying it's a good idea that I'm tempted to try it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #57
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    Run with it!!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #58
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    Michael:

    Your debate about wrapping seems to revolve around condensation problems, I have read in some of your many posts that you only maintain a top entrance during winter. That could be a problem as heat and moisture rises within the hive you will have limited air circulation. I keep the bottom entrance open using a mouse guard, along with a upper entrance in the top super. Also I maintain a port threw the inner cover for circulation. I have never seen moisture build up on any of my hives living next to lake Michigan humidity levels are always above 50%. Perhaps an experiment is in order? Provide bottom and top entrances on some hives and only top entrances on others, and see what happens.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  19. #59
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    Athens, Ill
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    Michael, you mentioned wintering nucs for spring sale. Thats where I am hoping ot go also. Hopefully by the end of next season I should have enough bees to pull it off. My "brilliant and cunning" plan is to keep them an a single medium, stacked 4 or 5 high, with a screen between each. Planing to go with NWC because of thier small winter cluster.

    Anyone care to point out the flaws in the plan? I'd rather learn form ya'lls mistakes that have to relearn what you already know.

    Winter temps here bounce from -10 to 40, with little consistant snow cover.

  20. #60
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    >My "brilliant and cunning" plan is to keep them an a single medium, stacked 4 or 5 high, with a screen between each.

    Well here's what I tried. First I tried single ten frame medium nucs on top of a strong hives with a double screened inner cover between and the notch of the inner cover up for the entrance for the nuc. In spite of such a small screened area, most succumbed to a lot of condensation from the hive below.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Apar...sWintering.JPG
    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Apar...ppedInFoam.jpg


    The next year I stacked them up with no screen but thin plywood between, on the theory that I didn't want to overwelm them with the humidity from below. I put eight, eight frame nucs in a double stack of four each. I warpped this whole affair in 2" styrofoam. Again the condensation was the biggest problem, I'm assuming from their own hive. That and they seemed to die out from the bottom, where they got no heat, to the top where they got heat from the one below.

    This year I'm trying this:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/OverwinteringNucs1.jpg

    There are feeders on each and a thermostatically controled heater inside to heat the backs and tops and feeders on all the hives. There is an additional terrarium heater under a queen bank to see if I can get extra queens through.

    The model for this was the observation hive in the living room which is heated and fed all winter with only a few frames of bees and right now is rearing brood.

    >Planing to go with NWC because of thier small winter cluster.

    I think that would help. The ferals are even smaller clusters.

    >Anyone care to point out the flaws in the plan?

    I think if you stack them up with the screens between they will all die from the condensation.

    >I'd rather learn form ya'lls mistakes that have to relearn what you already know.

    That always helps.

    >Winter temps here bounce from -10 to 40, with little consistant snow cover.

    Same here except it sometimes hits -30, and usually hits -20 for a while and an occasional 50 or 60.

    Based on the observation hive rearing brood, I'm planning on putting in pollen next warm day we get.

    [size="1"][ December 07, 2005, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: Michael Bush ][/size]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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