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  1. #1

    Default Closing up for winter

    The girls in this hive appear to be expecting a cold winter. They're working pretty hard to block the entrance.





    Last edited by beemandan; 10-05-2008 at 05:02 PM.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,987

    Default

    Don't you hate it when the bees mess up nice new equipment? As if they know better....Next year they will be screaming for better ventilation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    4,072

    Default

    I've never seen my girls do that before...hmmmm.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
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    2,479

    Wink Dan

    Why is your equipment so dirty?? I mean all those spots...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Reedsville, Wi USA
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    11

    Default

    [QUOTE=beemandan;358501]The girls in this hive appear to be expecting a cold winter. They're working pretty hard to block the entrance.

    I block some of the entrance off when it starts getting cold. A inch or 2 is all they need when it's cold.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Reedsville, Wi USA
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    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    Why is your equipment so dirty?? I mean all those spots...

    That's bee poop. Really it is!! Bee's poo when they fly. This is why you don't want to put a hive inside to soon in fall, and you want to get them back out as soon as you have nice weather in spring.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka ,Alabama
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    510

    Default

    I'm going with a colder or longer winter than normal here in the south.
    My hives are glueing and sticking things together so much it is very hard to open a hive right now,even the ones that were opened yesterday are now very hard to get apart again. All entrances are growing smaller too.
    I think the bees know more then we do about the weather...
    If you build it they will comb it.<br />Tim Rolan

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peggjam View Post
    I've never seen my girls do that before...hmmmm.
    To be honest, itís a first for me too. This particular colony is from a yard swarm this last spring. So, they were in that yard last year and didnít do anything like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by King bee apiary View Post
    I'm going with a colder or longer winter than normal here in the south.
    I think the bees know more then we do about the weather
    Not much surprises me about bees anymore. It may be a sign of an impending cold winter but this is the only one of my hives that knows it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    Why is your equipment so dirty?? I mean all those spots...
    Quote Originally Posted by Bee-View Farm View Post
    That's bee poop.
    It may be bee poop but I didnít look that closely. This yard is in the woods. Most of the other hives in that yard are older and are heavily stained with tree sap, bird and squirrel poop and other such stuff.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

    Default

    Ok....must be southern bees because how cold can it get in GA in the winter? We hit 32 today and got snow on the mountains over the weekend and my bees aren't doing that...of course they are wearing ear muffs...so that could mean something.

    They could also be doing that to stop robbing...too big an entrance this time of year for a weaker hive may be too much to guard.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    Ok....must be southern bees because how cold can it get in GA in the winter?
    No doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    They could also be doing that to stop robbing...too big an entrance this time of year for a weaker hive may be too much to guard.
    Its possible that they're responding to some robbing threat. There hasn't really been any robbing in this yard this season. The hive is loaded with bees so it doesn't seem to be a weaker hive. They do have 'an attitude'.

    Its also possible that it is related to my Apiguard treatments. Although this is only one of about thirty that were treated. Maybe they liked the smell and didn't want to let it escape.....except they already pulled the foil from the card out of the hive....I'm thinkin' that they didn't much care for the 'fragrance'.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Default

    I now have a hive of NWC that are doing the same exact thing. The other hives in the yard do not show any signs of doing the same thing. The material they are closing the entrance with doesn't look like propolis normally does. Do not know how to explain it, but it definately different.
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,538

    Default Propolis

    Pro...before
    Polis...the city

    Propolis...the city gates

    Reducing the entrance...city gates...is one function of propolis. It's what bees do to prepare for winter, or preventing robbing, etc.

    I see a percentage of colonies like this every year when I install my mouse screens. I bet we'd see it more if we hadn't bred out the propensity to gather propolis.

  13. #13

    Default

    Its interesting that this thread has gotten some new replies. I was planning to udate my original posts. I went to this yard yesterday. The hive in question was in fact, under a robbing attack. Not a frenzy but surely the beginnings. Several dozen bees fighting on the landing board. I installed an entrance reducer with its smallest opening. The hive is still very heavy, so it doesn't appear to have been robbed out. I did not open it as that would really escalate the attack. I'll give it a few days to calm down and either open it or move it and then open it elsewhere.....weather permitting.
    The last time I opened this hive, in late September it was queenright, had good brood and was well populated. There wasn't anything to indicate distress. We shall see.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Pro...before
    Polis...the city

    Propolis...the city gates

    Reducing the entrance...city gates...is one function of propolis. It's what bees do to prepare for winter, or preventing robbing, etc.

    I see a percentage of colonies like this every year when I install my mouse screens. I bet we'd see it more if we hadn't bred out the propensity to gather propolis.
    You know your Greek Mike.

    Gilman

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
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    2,139

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peggjam View Post
    I've never seen my girls do that before...hmmmm.
    Jim,
    i have some buckfasts that have done that for years and years...one yard in particular.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    575

    Default

    While I have never had this happen with one of my hives...the president of our local beekeeping association says that he has had this from time to time in one of his many hives. It makes me wonder if you find your bees doing this if you should just go ahead and install an entrance reducer to make them happy? They obviously are trying to reduce or restrict their entrance for some reason...it seems.
    God bless,
    Fred
    "My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)

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