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Thread: Sanity Check

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Payson, UT, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Sanity Check

    This is my first winter with two hives. It was over 50 degrees, which in Utah is pretty warm for January, and the bees were flying, so I opened the hives to check how they were doing. There were far more bees than I expected to see. The cluster in both hives were at the top of the two deep brood boxes. I lifted the hives and they feel quite heavy, I would guess approximately 60 lbs. I guess the most surprising part was that the clusters were at the top of the top brood boxes. I left a partially filled medium super on each hive to ensure that there would be enough honey for the bees to overwinter. Is there anything in this scenario that should concern me?
    Don't get caught up in the thick of thin things.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,574

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    It sounds like you're doing fine. Your queen has likely begun to increase her laying and now is a critical time for the bees that have wintered over. It's a balancing act between the stores they have left and the first nectar and pollen that they'll be able to gather. Just don't let them run out of food.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cass County, MO
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenguru View Post
    I guess the most surprising part was that the clusters were at the top of the top brood boxes. I left a partially filled medium super on each hive to ensure that there would be enough honey for the bees to overwinter. Is there anything in this scenario that should concern me?
    So they have a partial medium of honey above them still; and they are not into it at all yet?

    I am in the same experience "class" as you are, so I don't hive much to offer except this. I would be concerned about starvation when brood production gets into "full swing", and nectar sources have not.

    RKR
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    Sounds like you have adequate food reserves, the cluster being in the top box is expected for January at lest in my area. The bees will use the warm day as an opportunity to move stores to the cluster area where the queen is most likely laying small patches of brood. Sounds like things are in great shape. It is important not to break up the cluster this time of year.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Payson, UT, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    Thank you each for your responses. This is much appreciated.
    Don't get caught up in the thick of thin things.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,664

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    six inches of snow here, went and scraped the snow off their entrances this afternoon, 34 degees and 4 of the 21 hives had bees flying. About the last week of Feb. the Maples should be budding out and the willows will be thinking about it.Myself, i've been thinking about spring sense last Dec. Jack

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Payson, UT, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    Thank you each for your responses. This is much appreciated.
    Don't get caught up in the thick of thin things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,375

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenguru View Post
    There were far more bees than I expected to see. The cluster in both hives were at the top of the two deep brood boxes. I lifted the hives and they feel quite heavy, I would guess approximately 60 lbs.
    Do you see capped honey at the sides of the clusters. You should.

    I weigh hives every year. I found that a double deep colony, with good cluster, with no honey reserves, weighs 70 pounds. Rather than lift, you should look. Is there capped honey in contact with the cluster, and any above in that partially filled medium?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Payson, UT, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Sanity Check

    There certainly is honey on both sides of the clusters.
    Don't get caught up in the thick of thin things.

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