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Thread: Bad weather

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Thumbs down

    The weather here in the northeast (near NYC anyway) has been so bad this spring that we rarely see the sun anymore, the days are cold (I can't find reliable statistics on May's tempearatures, but I would bet it was ~10oF lower than average) and often rainy.
    I don't have enough experience to tell how this affects the bees, but I can't imagine them loving it too much. For one thing, I notice mold on the inside of the outer cover (which I did not see last year), etc.
    I have kept a small feeder going throughout this first month since I got my bees and, although they have used very little of it, I think they use some of it when they can't fly because of rain.
    Any thoughts anyone?

    Thanks

    Jorge

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ridgeway, VA , USA
    Posts
    72

    Post

    South Central VA.
    Rain, Rain, Rain. I know it has rained 26 out of the 31 days of May and the 3 out of the first 6 days of June. Very bad honey surplus year. I can only hope that the sourwood will do well. It has been at least 10-15 degrees cooler on average. I can't remember but about 3 / 80 degree days this whole spring. The garden vegetables here are also about 1 month behind. We can't get a tractor in the field, or maybe I should say, I probably could get it into the field but not back out. Friday 6th, It looks like rain again.
    Duane in VA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    If I didn't have extra honey frames or feeders on my starter hives, some would starve to death. I don't mind feeding but this is hard to believe for the first week of June. This is bread and butter time. Not sure what was worse-last years drought or this years rain. Seems like they collect for one day and then they are stuck in the hive for 3-4 days. Can't believe I'm checking honey stores at this time of the year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Richmond, VA USA
    Posts
    34

    Post

    Here in Richmond, according to the weather service, it rained 23 of the 31 days in May and 2 of 4 so far this month. Believe it or not, last year we had near normal spring precipitation. Of course that was followed by a summer of severe drought.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    It's similiar to a boardman feeder I guess, I picked up two small chicken waterer bases, put small ledges on them and attached quarter jars of syrup. Set one right outside of each of my hives to try and feed them through, makes it easier to keep track of and replenish. Started this when I noticed them sucking a sandwich baggie dry in one day from within the hive.
    On top of being a brand-newbie, this weather is certainly making my start challenging. Calling for nearly an inch more rain on Saturday!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    If you are open feeding right in front of the hives, watch for robbing and watch for all the bees for 5 miles around coming to your place to eat.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    the populations around our place are so poor, I don't think there are bees within 5 miles of my place. I've spent about 2 hours observing and all seems quiet; bees pop out front, load up, head back in. Had a few drownings, but no fighting.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    That's good. I've had fighting with the feeders several hundred yards away. A lot of dead bees from fighting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
    Posts
    251

    Cool

    Robbing correlates closely with the temperature as well as the other obvious factors (nectar availability, hive strength, etc.) However, open syrup in an apiary is not a good idea at anytime. Massive robbing once it gets going is almost impossible to stop and weaker (new) hives are very easily robbed dry and the queen killed. Been there, done that. You don't want to bee. It's not pretty.
    Thanx.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    I hear you! It only rains in North eastern PA too! I am hoping that the rainy season breaks, and the drought does not begin. Last year it was so dry. If it levels off I will be happy. Anyway, if it should stop, things should grow in abundance with lots of nector, and most importantly, the pollen will have all of the protiens the bees need.


    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Mineral, Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Post

    {sigh} well, it seemed like a good idea. Mine are brand new installs so I'll let this syrup get used then not do that any more. I don't think there is an issue, but I don't want any trouble either. It might be dumb luck as the weather has been terrible, so competing bees may not have made it out far enough to be an issue.

    I'm determined to feed through this weather, but the bag thing isn't as easy as it appears. Few bags are truly air/water tight and the slit thing is tough even with a sharp exacto knife. Bags end up leaking into the hive and puddling a bit on the bottom board. I only have 1 deep (as a brood box) and one shallow, so using cans and/or jars within the hive is out.

    thanks for the tips.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Big Grin

    Just rained twice here this week,3day's one time& 4days the next......Mark

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elizabethtown,KY
    Posts
    260

    Post

    Scott,

    Check out the "feeders" topic in the Equipment/Hardware review area. I have a post there for an easy top feeder. I finally got myself in gear and placed two of them today. One of the hives has found it already and they're really going for the feed.
    Denise

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Post

    scott__dixon, Get yourself a hive top feeder so they can have access from the inside of the hive. Works much better than the baggies. Dale

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    The old gallon jug & empty super is hard to beat.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159
    Everyone has an opinion, just like...

    Well, I don't think you CAN beat a hive top feeder. Espicially the good ones with the screen wire to keep the bees from flying out and wire for them to keep good footing so they reduce drownings. AND they hold more than two gallons. So if you dan't get to them for a week, that's important.

    $11.00 at MID-CON

    Unlike the jug in a super, you won't have to scrape wax if you don't use an inner cover below the jug.

    Bill

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Elizabethtown,KY
    Posts
    260

    Post

    The problem I've had with those hive top feeders (as bought from Kelley's) is getting the bees to find them,even though I've dribbled sryup into the opening. I will probably have a few to sell if I can't find a way to get the bees in them.
    Denise

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Post

    Try some essential oils. Wintergreen, Lemongrass, Spearmint, or Honey Bee Healthy. Or Honey. They always seem to find honey. Then the bees can smell it and zero in on it. Maybe the brood got chilled.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited June 06, 2003).]

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