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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    871

    Question snow bound hives/locations

    Hey everyone, I am looking for some helpful suggestions about what the heck I should do about all the snow around the hives that need to be split MAY 4th ! ??? We have 100 Queens coming from Kona and Hawaii and I have no idea what is going to take place, patience is gone and I am wondering if I should just dig them out and put the patties to them ? We have done some of the bees we could get to last week and I know they still have some honey stores but not all of them are overly heavy. Is anyone other then the Maritimes having this stupid problem with the snow ?
    I think I should just take my loader and go plow every yard out regardless how long it takes to get these bees fed and ready. What do you think ?
    I am out of options is what I think.
    Oh yeah and this is our weather forecast >> http://www.theweathernetwork.com/14-...ia/bridgewater just starting to get double digits in a day or 2
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    5,234

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    I would put the patties on and feed if neccessary. Can you walk on top of the snow? You could open feed and put on patties and i bet your snow takes care of itself. You can always dig out later if you need to and snow is good insulation/windbreak.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    7,162

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    I've carried feed into yards over the snow before... It sucks!
    I set my hives out last weeks to a perfect start, then all work stopped with a week of cold. We should be able to get back into the hives to resume work tomorrow.

    As for pushing the yards, sometimes when I go and work because of tough conditions later on I figured I had just wasted my time. Patience indeed!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,977

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Little View Post
    I think I should just take my loader and go plow every yard out regardless how long it takes to get these bees fed and ready. What do you think ?
    I think so, too. Get it done!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Kinda Ironic if you think about it...plowing snow to place queens from hawaii....sorry I know that is of no help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,122

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    How deep is the snow on your hives?
    How long it will take you to do it for 100 queens?
    Can you ask the queen supplier to send them in 50 at a time?
    The reason being that if you are making splits then it will take longer to
    do it with 200 hives. You are making splits and not a simple requeening.
    And the queen cannot wait that long outside the hive without
    any feeding unless there is a better way to make them survive longer for
    you to have more time to do things. Now is the time to get the patty in for them first. I say just dig it!
    I luv bee source!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    The snow is still to the top of the pallets and we would have to snowshoe in to the yards with a toboggan to carry the feed. around 7-800' to the bees in most yards. Oh yes very well thought out that was, but I really didn't anticipate the snow to be here at this magnitude in April.
    I can do the splits if the feed goes on this week, I will have to rob brood later on from my wintered nucs . The only reason for splitting this early is because I need more hives for pollination and can't afford package bees @ 200.00 for 1 Kg ! Plus I really don't want to buy packages anymore .

    My intent is to take 1 frame of capped brood and whatever the hive can spare for bees without chilling remaining brood with 2 honey frames and 1 pollen if I can find one and add a frame feeder and 2 pounds of sub, add the queen and insulate the box on top and wrap with black pallet wrap, reduce entrance and PRAY ! All frames will be drawn comb. They both will be reduced to a single deep and have 8 frames and a frame feeder.
    So if they get made on May 6th and she is released on May 8th starts laying on the 9th or 10th On the 31st the brood will emerge and hopefully if everything goes right, I can equalize with brood and bees to get my pollination standards of 8 frames of bees 4 frames of brood and 2 of honey plus another box of drawn comb on top to lay in. We usually have higher numbers then the standard to make a good impression but not too much higher because they get plugged out easily and swarm just after the 3rd week in blueberries.

    How does that sound ? I didn't want to give them too much brood to keep warm, we will add more if the queen isn't laying right on time.
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    I snowshoed out to put fondant and sub on a couple of yards I couldn't get close to. Hindsight is 20-20, but there was an article a year or so ago in the Ontario Bee Journal on spring feeding that recommended leaving a barrel of liquid feed in each yard in the fall so you just have to snowshoe out and take the lid off in the spring.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Arras, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Like you said looks like your weather is getting better next week. You still have lots of time. All will be well. Forcing it might make it worse.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Ben, I am not in your shoes, so take this with a grain of salt. If the bees need feed, then they need feed, that is an easy decision. But as others have suggested, patience may be in order. Colonies build faster and function better as a larger unit, especially in the spring when heat generation and conservation are at a premium. IF the weather remains cool/cold, splitting them just to get colony numbers, may set you and the bees back. It is hard to predict the weather, but you can ensure there is plenty of food in the boxes, if it is needed and the rest is up to the bees and mother nature.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    5,094

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Kona Queen routinely handles requests to delay shipment of queens, it's part of the business when shipping to temperate climates.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    If I am understanding you correctly you hope to use this 1 frame splits for blueberry pollination. If this is correct, I don't think they are going to be ready; just won't won't grow quickly enough in spring.

    Small splits of one or two frames like you are planning work well if you include enough bees. The mother hives need to be pushed through April and May with sub and feed(if liquid feed isn't present around the brood nest) and brood robbed at every opportunity from the mother hives and place in the splits if the splits are to be ready for pollination.

    If the splits are for next year than your plan should be fine.

    Is your pollination timetable going to be pushed back as well?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    275

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Do you have top entrances? If so why not plow enough snow to use for open feeding syrup and pollen in the yards. We have had to do this before. Right now our snow is gone. They are using syrup but are really hitting the pollen feeders hard.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    3,052

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    I agree with Allen.

    Do some calculus. The populations usually follow an "S" curve. When you split, where on the curve will you put them? If you put them on back on the lower flat of the curve, you have missed keeping them in the steep part of the curve before they plateau. Remember, the steeper the curve, the faster they are growing.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    3,052

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    I agree with Allen.

    Do some calculus. The populations usually follow an "S" curve. When you split, where on the curve will you put them? If you put them on back on the lower flat of the curve, you have missed keeping them in the steep part of the curve before they plateau. Remember, the steeper the curve, the faster they are growing.

    Crazy Roland

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    ….. no snowmobile ?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    This scenario plays out probably 4 out of every 5 years in central Alberta. I've hoofed it, borrowed sleds, rented mini hoe's and now have a SxS with tracks. The point is: we just get it done, as long as the temps agree. I've put patties and strips into hives where the snow is a foot over the top entrance.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    I really think you'll be further ahead knocking your queens back a bit and splitting out of a stronger colony... A monster hive can have brood robbed just about weekly as long as you don't get too greedy where if you take brood too early you just won't have a monster hive anymore. Have you tried one frame of brood splits in your climate at that time of year? I've never been happy with them until temps are above 20 degrees consistently, they're just too prone to abandoning sections of brood on the frame. I knocked an order of queens back a week last year even though it messed up the plan and definitely didn't regret it; they would have spent that extra week in a bank if I hadn't. Also protein's not that heavy, just throw it on a toboggan and muscle it in if you don't have any other means.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,508

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    Purchase some nucs from B.C. I hear they are having a good spring
    Delay the queen order.

    Jean-Marc

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: snow bound hives/locations

    We checked on another yard the other day and have 100 % alive of the production hives, we lost some of our nucs. They got 2 pounds of sub and look good, nice big clusters, not spread out over the entire box, also they are still in good shape for honey
    We need our numbers up before pollination. If I can't delay the queens, I have no idea what we can do.

    I have tried delaying but maybe it is time to force a 2 week delay if possible. It's a gamble right now trying to do this I know, believe me I have been worrying a lot about the weather and what the heck I am going to do about this situation.

    The bloom will be driven back without a doubt from this weather but by how much, I have no idea, probably a week or 2 for sure because from what I heard the snow is deeper in the places I will be renting to and even at a warmer temp it will take a while to melt off.
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

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