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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    melvin,mi
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    188

    Default How cold is too cold to open top up????

    This Sunday I will be opening up 2 of my weak hives to addd sugar to the top its going to be in the low 30s. should I wait and hope for a warmer day or will it be ok to open them up. i should be in and out in about 5 min.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    I OFTEN do minor manipulation when the air temperature is in the low 30's, it is sunny and there is no wind. minus EITHER of these last two requirements, then I wait. you seem to understand (I think??) that even when conditions are just right it is not a time to linger (say to inspect each and every frame in the hive).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,757

    Default

    I'm definitely a weekend keeper so between now and Spring, I always look at both weekend days, choosing the one that gives me the warmest temps OR the most sun. As tecumseh said, wind plays a big role so it's often a tie-breaker. Given a cool day with no sun or an even cooler day WITH sun, I'd go with the sunny day. Plan on opening things up when the sun is on the hives and make sure you have whatever you need. Then, just get the job done. I love to see a bee or two flying when I decide to work a colony. That tells me that at least a few of the bees have decided that them temps aren't too bad either. Remember, there's little or no brood to be chilled so your burden is a little lighter knowing that.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,657

    Default top feeding

    If you are going to put feed above the intercover,I wouldn!t worry to much.The hive being weak (with a small cluster) and temp. in low 30s,breaking the cluster could be a death sentence.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    249

    Default

    We treat our bees by means of oxacylic acid drip when thay are in a cluster. We do this at freezing temps so that they are in a good cluster. They have never seemed to suffer when the hives have been opened for this at those temps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    melvin,mi
    Posts
    188

    Default

    my plan is simple.Open it up, put supper on with no frames add one layer of news paper and pour 5-10 pound of sugar on it close it back up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,657

    Default How cold is to cold?

    dgl1948,I!m not trying to get smart,but why would you open a hive in 30 degree weather and drip oxacylic acid on the cluster?I know this is a mite treatment but why put it on the winter cluster?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm View Post
    The hive being weak (with a small cluster) and temp. in low 30s,breaking the cluster could be a death sentence.
    Before I wrap up my nucs for winter, I try to have all the double nuc boxes full...each with 2 nucs. So, I transfer any singles into other boxes where one side has failed. I try to do this in warmish weather...40s or 50s...but can't always...time, weather, etc. I transfer plenty when temps are in the 30s, and sometimes even the 20s. With 4 frame nucs, I remove the outer frame, and put it in the new box. Then the next two at once, and finally the last frame. I remove and replace frames carefully, and slowly. The bees remain on the combs, and the colder it is the fewer bees there will be on the sidewalls. These bees are banged down on top of the combs, and the bees go right down. The cluster is broken, but seemingly uneffected. They re-form the cluster, and there is very little loss of bees. For awhile they are noisy, but calm down quickly.

    Bees are way more resillient than most give them credit for. While you obviously wouldn't want to remove brood on a cold day, and leave it away from the cluster for very long, opening covers, feeding, and even some quick and limited bee work is ok in cold weather.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tbb39 View Post
    my plan is simple.Open it up, put supper on with no frames add one layer of news paper and pour 5-10 pound of sugar on it close it back up.
    tbb39, I think your plan is right on. Be gentle, and don't give them any reason to break the cluster. Before you put the paper down, look down through and make a mental note of where the cluster is, how far down/up it is, and how large it looks. Let us know later how it goes. A cold day without disturbing the bees is the best of both worlds. Since you don't need to move frames, there should be no large distrubance. When you put the inner cover back on top of your empty super, remember to leave some form of ventilation open.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default Which one is it and how?

    OK, I'm really wondering this now...I've seen all three referenced - I hope we all know the difference. I certainly don't.

    What are the difference between these three, and which is to be used as a treatment on bees?

    -Oxacylic acid
    -Oxalic acid
    -Oxylic acid

    Also, what is the recommended useage (time, temperature, and application method) when being used in a bee colony?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Default

    -Oxacylic acid -no such thing
    -Oxalic acid - HOOCCOOH http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid
    -Oxylic acid -no such thing
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default

    10-4.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    490

    Thumbs Up

    " Michael Palmer"


    Bees are way more resillient than most give them credit for. While you obviously wouldn't want to remove brood on a cold day, and leave it away from the cluster for very long, opening covers, feeding, and even some quick and limited bee work is ok in cold weather.


    You can bet on it



    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Last edited by Jim 134; 11-15-2008 at 12:46 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    melvin,mi
    Posts
    188

    Default

    I'm hoping for tomorrow on opening them up, but its been none stop rain all day today and its looking like it will change to snow tomorrow. good to here they can handle short term 20s because if I cant open them tomorrow it will have to wait until next Sunday.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    249

    Default

    Brooksbeefarm: We wait untill freezing temps have arrived here so there is no brood in the hive. We have brood in the hive untill then. The bees need to be in a tight cluster to apply the oxalic drip to get an evan application. We winter in 2 deeps in this part of the country. If you do it before they are in a tight cluster, 35 ml of acid is hard to apply to bees spread over 20 deep frames. When the hives has been treated, we bunch them together in groups of four, then wrap with insulation. The walls are insulated at R12 and the tops at R20. All our hives are wintered outdoors.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default What are the difference between these three,

    Spelling:
    Oxalic acid.
    Regards,
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Fairfield, Connecticut
    Posts
    597

    Default

    Why do people think it is so important to correct everyones spelling all the time?
    Not all of us can type, I two finger hunt and peck quickly at keys so spelling is wrong sometimes.
    To those who correct us, What are you English teachers?
    If it isn't broken, don't try to fix it. If you build it, they will fill it.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambria County, PA US
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GRIMBEE View Post
    Why do people think it is so important to correct everyones spelling all the time?
    Not all of us can type, I two finger hunt and peck quickly at keys so spelling is wrong sometimes.
    To those who correct us, What are you English teachers?
    Thanks pal for assuming that the post was anything other than benign. I had found results for all three when I googled them, so I had assumed that all three might exist. Sometimes spelling does denote different things...you know, like Hydrogen Sulfide and Hydrogen Sulfate?

    I never claimed to be the brightest person. I was looking at it as an opportunity where I might learn something that I didn't know.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,657

    Default dgl1948

    Thanks for your clearing this up for me.I have never used oxalic acid and I don!t know anyone in our club that has.It just seemed to me that driping a liquid on the cluster in freezing weather would do them in.You learn something new every day.I!m from the old school,the old timers always told me.when the weather gets 45 degrees and under don!t disturb the cluster.I will take the lid off to place foundant and fill top feeders this usally takes less than a minute and i never break the cluster.Sometimes I feel like their looking down watching me and if I don!t do it right they won!t let me in their club when I come

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,133

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tbb39 View Post
    This Sunday I will be opening up 2 of my weak hives to addd sugar to the top its going to be in the low 30s. should I wait and hope for a warmer day or will it be ok to open them up. i should be in and out in about 5 min.
    I was working in a bee yard tonight, after dark with the snow falling. I was putting newspaper over the inner cover hole to suck up moisture and a shim with a layer of insulation between the inner and outer cover. I had one NUC and one full size hive that was light on stores in that yard, so I granulated sugar'd them on a piece of newspaper and then insulated them. A few of the hives were fiesty; a few sent a couple of bees up to check it out, and some were quiet. They gave a gentle buzz when I tapped the hive.

    It was a bit windy out, 28 degrees, but the hives are no worse for the wear after I insulated them on top. Two more yards to insulate and I'll have them closed up for the winter.

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