Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    I live directly on the 45 parallel just outside of Traverse City in NW Lower Michigan. We have what I consider a harsh winter with October and April snows (over 170" of snow this season) and single digit temps at night for weeks on end.

    My TBH appears to have overwintered as the bees are flying on sunny 40 degree F days and collecting crocus pollen. I don't want the reducer to interfere with their efforts nor do I want the follower to make them feel crowded. However we are still 45 days away from last freeze and the nights are still in the 20's, how should I procede?

    Two other related questions: when should I begin feeding? Also what are considered normal winter losses? I picked up 2 handfuls of dead bees from below the entrance and there are more on the hive floor. However when they are flying they appear to have the same numbers as last summer. They were installed from a package last May 31st.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    >My TBH appears to have overwintered as the bees are flying on sunny 40 degree F days and collecting crocus pollen. I don't want the reducer to interfere with their efforts nor do I want the follower to make them feel crowded.

    If there is a traffic ham, then you need to open the entrance more. If not, I wouldn't worry about it yet.

    If they are out of room for bees in the area they have, I would move the follower.

    >Two other related questions: when should I begin feeding?

    For what? If they are short of stores, now. If you want to stimulate brood, I'd have put pollen patties on a month or two ago. If there's pollen available and they aren't short on stores, I'd leave them alone. But if you want to put some feed on it probably won't hurt. What did you have in mind? A baggie feeder on the bottom?

    >Also what are considered normal winter losses?

    Bees or hives?

    >I picked up 2 handfuls of dead bees from below the entrance and there are more on the hive floor.

    How big was the cluster going into winter? It's usually 1/2 to 1/3 that size coming out of winter. I worry more about how many are alive than how many are dead.

    >However when they are flying they appear to have the same numbers as last summer. They were installed from a package last May 31st.

    They also may have reared some brood already.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW Lower Michigan
    Posts
    59

    Post

    >But if you want to put some feed on it probably won't hurt. What did you have in mind? A baggie feeder on the bottom?<

    I have a Boardman type at the rear of the hive. I thought they would need something to help build them up in time for the main spring bloom.

    >>Also what are considered normal winter losses?<<

    >Bees or hives?<

    Bee's, sorry I should have clarified.

    >How big was the cluster going into winter? It's usually 1/2 to 1/3 that size coming out of winter. I worry more about how many are alive than how many are dead.<

    Good point as usual. My cluster was at least twice the size of what had deceased.

    >They also may have reared some brood already.<

    So early? I thought they might, some of the bees are small/young.

    Thanks so much for your insight, I appreciate it.

    Rich

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    Young bees are smaller and much fuzzier. They will rear spurts of brood all winter. They rear a small batch and stop for a while. Then another and stop for a while.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads