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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

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    I make my last hive preparation for winter in the first weeks of November. I used 1 inch of 'pink' insulation under the outer cover; no problems with 'chewing'; cluster is down in the lower box. By the end of March, I remove all... 'insulation'.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    OK, I was going to propose this question later in the year but I want to submit it now.

    The inner covers have that oblong opening in the center, right? For overwintering, do you think there would be any advantage to closing off that opening and drilling holes in the four corners. The warmth of the cluster is in the center and having that opening there creates a 'draft' of warm air; don't you think??

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

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    >MB, if there is a reason that we should not feed syrup (besides those who overfeed and end up with syrup in their supers) please let us know.

    My point is that it's less work to leave them stores, and it's better for them. If they need to be fed you should feed them. I'm too lazy to extract honey and then turn around and feed it back. I try to leave enough honey on my strong hives that I can steal it for the light ones.

    >Edit: Just wanted to add this. It seems to me that the hives that went into winter without full stores survived in greater numbers. I can't explain why this happened.

    Maybe they had more room to cluster. They really can't cluster on capped honey, they need some empty cells in the center.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    694

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >

    My point is that it's less work to leave them stores, and it's better for them. If they need to be fed you should feed them. I'm too lazy to extract honey and then turn around and feed it back. I try to leave enough honey on my strong hives that I can steal it for the light ones.

    Maybe they had more room to cluster. They really can't cluster on capped honey, they need some empty cells in the center.

    Ok, I can agree with that feeding policy. Tend to get a couple of deeps of honey each year, I spread this around to the weaker hives in the late fall. If I don't have honey to give from another hive, then I feed. This year I plan to overwinter with a empty shallow that has about 5lbs of sugar on newspaper, and I plan to do this on every hive. If any of those hives have sugar left over that is worth anything in the spring, I'll mix it with water and give them a slow feed from mid March through the end of April, but only enough to stimulate brood rearing. I have a few old quart jars that I plan to only put three holes in the lid so they have to take it slow, then I'll wait a few days after each feed so they use up any that they may have stored.


    Thanks for the answer on the clustering space.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,697

    Default

    We are probably quiet abit colder than you so some of the things we do will differ however:
    we wrap with an insulated wrap. An R-8 value We also add an insulated roof.
    we feed 5-7 gallons of sugar water and treat in the fall. Several frames of pollen as well.
    We try to have them wrapped by halloween
    We can not afford to build a shelter belt for the bees so what we did is row 5x6 bales around the bee yard. Two yards we are thinking on leaving out because they are pretty sheltered from the winds The rest are coming home and the bales will go around the yard of hives
    See if you can find a farmer willing to sell some old hay bales real cheap that you could use for a few years. Just need to pile them each year. Husband piles the bales about 5-6 feet away from the hives.

    We also put ceiling tile i the inner cover to collect moisture throughout the winter.
    We are happy to see bees flying in the winter on warm days We call it the "poo poo flight" or cleansing flight. And the snow has a salt and pepper look to it from the bees that did not make it back. Helps to keep the hive healthy.
    We do not feed honey back until mid spring. Here the honey gets to thick and heavy. The bees are then unable to make the cleansing flight or get back from the cleansing flight. What happens then is they poop in the wrapp and hive all in and get sick.
    I wish i could figure out howto show a pic of the winter yard. oh well

    good luck

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundance View Post
    I used pink closed cell and chewing wasn't a big issue. But
    I suppose a chunk of tin foil would discourage it.

    The foil insulations I have seen are all open cell unlike the
    closed pink/blue/yellow styrene based ones. Open cell will
    absorb moisture.
    Thanks for the tip! I think tecumseh posted that as long as the foil was intact it was fine, but the second there was a hole they'd chew away.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Tecumseh writes
    whatever happened to common building paper and leaves as a hive wrap?

    Probably the same thing that happened to the model T and Eight track tapes.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

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