Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Centeral Minnesota
    Posts
    142

    Sad

    Last year was my first year beekeeping, and I started off with a 2 lb. Package of Italians. They did great, and I actually got about 10 lbs of honey off of them. I took off the honey about a week later than I should have, but got it off all the same. They had 2 deep brood chambers of honey/pollen stored up. I over wintered them with one empty super (w/out comb built) because there were so many bees. They did fine, but I checked up on them a week ago, and they were right below the inner cover, so I started to put sugar on it. They ate the sugar, and I checked up again on them, and they were dead. They apparently starved. I opened them up, and there were about 15 frames with bees on them (I read there are usually about 10) and also below the clustered bees were bees with there heads inside of the comb, so I figure like there are about 30 frames of bees (like others were incubating. Also the bottom board was completely covered with bees about 2 inches thick. Also another thing I noticed is that the super that I had put in there with out comb, they had built comb in, so they must have made the wax from the honey stores. Is that normal? Was it my fault I put in the empty super? From what I know of they were disease free. Also, Is there a trick in getting the dead bees out of the comb, or will a new package of bees pull the dead ones out? :confused:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    The new bees will get them out. I would brush all I could off. Where are you from? Please fill in this info in your profile so it will post your area with every post as beekeeping is very locally different. I was warned not to try italians here. A local beekeeper ordered italian packages and requeened then in early fall. He gave me the healthy queen as I wanted a split. This hive had a medium full of honey which is what the local guys say you need. This hive did great going into winter with the biggest population. I ended up feeding this hive 50lb of sugar through the warm spells in winter. It helped me make my splits last spring. But italians eat to much in our warmer winters. They seem to do great farther north(cold enough to make them shut down brood rearing)and farther south(like Florida with its constant flow they do not need to keep so much honey on the hive).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,983

    Post

    a pale or two of surip wouldnt of hurt after you pulled your honey. Sounds like a boomer colony, short on winter stores.

    I have got more than a few this winter that starved just the same.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Post

    In my opinion, I would have left off the empty super because what happens durnign the winter is that the bees move UP into the top box where it is warmer. That is why they were in the empty super. Next time, try two brood boxes. You will see that before winter comes, the bees are in both boxes but when you check them the first time in late winter or early spring, they will all move up to the top most chamber. That is why it is important to leave them honey.

    in my hive, the all moved up to the upper brood chamber and nothing was going on in the bottom chamber. So remember... bees move up in the winter time!
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

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

    Post

    Bees in the fall move vertically downward as they backfill empty comb with stores for winter.
    Bees move vertically upward as the winter season progresses.
    Some clusters move faster than others. Some clusters make better use of the stores as they move up than others.
    The problem becomes when they hit the top of the hive and can not continue to move up to get additional stores.
    During a warm day or a cooler but sunny day, they may be able to break cluster and get stores, if they can locate them in the hive.
    I set almost all of my hives up for the winter with an empty feeder box(no frames) and paper on the top bars of the box below with granulated sugar on it. All hives are also wrapped with felt paper. 21 of 21 setup this way are still going, checked them all yesterday and started stimulative feeding.
    I have some clusters that have move up and stayed there, I have some that come and take the sugar, but the cluster is situated low, and there are a few that have not really move up much nor taken any sugar.
    With the hive setup with the empty box on it already I can put syrup, granulated sugar, and pollen substitute right where the cluster is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, Kansas
    Posts
    445

    Post

    Some warm areas winter over well in one deep box full of stores: others must winter over in 3. I cannot tell you which is best for your area, only a local beekeeper can.

    I have found that no matter what I get involved in, there is ALWAYS a learning curve. Personally, I want 20 hives but I started with 2, because I did not want to make my mistakes on such a large number of hives.

    I started with 2 hives, split them both, and lost my BEST hive because I did not put the mouse guard in early enough. I will just have to chalk it up to the learning curve and keep on going.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,983

    Post

    Ya, I would not have put that extra super of foundation on either. Really, two boxes will winter a huge hive full of stores nicely. During a flow, yes, but into fall, no.,,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,204

    Post

    The thing is, the bees are going to end up at the top by the end of winter, and if that box is empty, they will be in trouble.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Alpine, NY (near Cayuga Lake)
    Posts
    107

    Post

    I worry, too, because my girls have been at the top since I checked them on Jan 1. I shoved a sugar board in there, and check every now and then--they're still alive and kicking...
    Lesli<br /> <a href=\"http://beeyard.blogspot.com/\" target=\"_blank\">http://beeyard.blogspot.com/</a>

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