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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    532

    Default So far so good halfway through the winter.

    Two days ago it got up in the high 40's here in Indiana. I went over and checked my 9 hives. 6 of these 9 are swarms I caught last year (2016). At first I was nervous because I was expecting them to really be flying since it had been below freezing the week before and just now climbing back up. When I saw no bees flying I thought all of them were dead. The first one I checked was actually dead, it was a swarm from 2 years ago that never really did anything. Thy stayed alive but didn't ever produce, and they were my most aggressive hive. I popped the lids on all the other one by one and either heard bees buzzing in them or saw some bees flying out after I disturbed them a little. This week is supposed to be warmer then average here.

    The hive that was dead was 2 8 frame deeps and the top box was still very heavy so they didn't starve to death. Not sure what got them but I did a 3 step OAV late this fall. I didn't have time to go through the hive yet but as I set the two boxes in the back of a my truck it looked like a large number of the dead bees were still in the bottom of the hive. Last year the only hive I lost over the winter was completely empty this spring when I checked on it. No dead bees around.

    I spoke to two other nearby beeks who saw the same thing, no bees flying that day and both were nervous. One beek said two weeks ago it warmed up to 50 degrees and the bees were out all over the place. They must have all got their bathroom breaks in then and didn't need to come out this week.

    I am curious during the winter if they know there is nothing to forage and they have been out to crap already will they stay in the hive during some warm spells to conserve energy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Schuyler Co., IL
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: So far so good halfway through the winter.

    I expect to see them flying if it's in the high 40s if it's a sunny day without much wind. If conditions are rainy or just cloudy or windy they are less likely to be out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: So far so good halfway through the winter.

    This weekend it got to 60 degrees and all the hives had a good amount of activity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rutherford Co. NC
    Posts
    492

    Default Re: So far so good halfway through the winter.

    So far so good here also.....

    ...But things seemed the same this time last year and in the last week I lost 3 of 7.

    Not sure if it was poison or the lingering effects of mites I had not treated for although I did not see signs either. Did not find frass on combs.

    Anyway be vigilant it's not over yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    621

    Default Re: So far so good halfway through the winter.

    In my neck of the woods my bees fly at 25-30 if they have been cooped up for long. Unfortunately they die as it is too cold to get back.
    4a

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: So far so good halfway through the winter.

    I wouldn't be to concerned about the flying bees, Mine fly in the middle of winter if there is a nice day. It's my theory that the ones that fly out and perish are probably old bees and will quickly be replaced by new young bees that are already being brooded. And I might add that old man winter is farther along than you think. Even here on the Canadian boarder my bees will be bringing in pollen in less than 6 weeks to feed the growing brood nests even with ice and snow still clinging to the bases of the pussy willows and tag alders . The greatest concern is that they have enough feed/sugar to get them through the next month and a half and do OAV treatments on the first nice day. Other than that my greatest late winter enemy is condensation from above in the hive. Which is controlled by the quilt boxs on top, or a block of styrofoam above so it condenses on some other surface than the top. Old man winter is in the death throws and spring is just around the corner We're almost there. JMHO

    ==McBee7==

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