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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westford, MA, USA
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    Grid

    Am I undertstanding this correctly from the QC doc? (1/2l of vinegar per 10 kg of sugar against nosema)

    They are saying to add 1/2 litre (just over 1 pint) of vinegar in addition to the water (approx 7 quarts) to 22lb sugar to make a 2:1 syrup mix ??
    Sound like an awful lot of vinegar, maybe my math is wrong.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,496

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    Just to see what would happen, I left two hives unwrapped. They seem to be doing as good as the ones I wrapped with insulation. I run two deeps and left a medium full of honey. I know its not very scientific but it seems to me as long as they have plenty of food and are vented good, healthy, queenright, etc.......they will make it.
    I've read all kinds of unproven theories. An over abundance of honey doesn't always pan out. In very cold weather bees head right for the top cover and then can't get to the honey below. Leaving a super on top of two deeps results in an increase in volume of the hive to heat. Knocking the hive down to just two deeps max in the fall forces the hive to decrease the population so it doesn't consume so much in the winter. Obviously location will make a huge difference on how successful these theories are but in my neck of the woods two deeps / three mediums is the norm for overwintering.

    It is great to see so many members on this site in Upstate NY.

    BTW I don't really have a wrap on my hive. It is three sheets of heavy roofing material hung on the sides of the hive leaving the front uncovered.

    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    [QUOTE=Acebird;631991]I've read all kinds of unproven theories. An over abundance of honey doesn't always pan out. In very cold weather bees head right for the top cover and then can't get to the honey below. Leaving a super on top of two deeps results in an increase in volume of the hive to heat. Knocking the hive down to just two deeps max in the fall forces the hive to decrease the population so it doesn't consume so much in the winter.

    Okay, so bees are able to heat the area of 2 deeps and not 2 deeps and 1 medium. I must have gotten lucky then this year, because I thought bees heated the cluster not the entire area of the hive. So next year I will leave them less stores so they can heat a smaller area.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,496

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    because I thought bees heated the cluster not the entire area of the hive.
    That is actually what I believe too. But I have read a lot of discussions where more space is not good in cold regions. I am a newbee, lets not forget that. What I have read is two deeps is enough room to store plenty of stores to make it through the winter in Upstate NY. If the deeps are not full then maybe they should be. Did I know if my deeps were full this winter? No. All I know is they were darn heavy.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Akron, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    I pack my extra super with newspaper to insulate and absorb moisture. On a warmish day when I peep in they're all up there eating the sugarpatties and dry sugar I leave up there . Even if I take off outer wrapping I leave paper in 'attic' until nights are warm. Second year, no losses.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by MJC417 View Post
    Okay, so bees are able to heat the area of 2 deeps and not 2 deeps and 1 medium. I must have gotten lucky then this year, because I thought bees heated the cluster not the entire area of the hive. So next year I will leave them less stores so they can heat a smaller area.
    I'd gather more opinions before making that decision. A box of honey-filled comb is not just all extra space needing to be heated. The capped cells are reducing that volume, the honey is providing extra food insurance and the extra comb is available early during the spring buld-up.

    I'm in Western Maine and it has been known to get cold here but I haven't seen the behavior described in which a cluster heads straight for the top cover when the cold sets in. In fact, I have a colony of Russians in a 3 medium hive that I thought was dead when I took a very quick peek inside in February and found no activity. This past week they miraculously came back to life though, more likely, they had just been too far down in the lower boxes for me to see since it was too cold to root around the frames last month.

    There are a number of northern beekeepers wintering in more equipment than two deeps. Mike Palmer's brood boxes are two deeps and a medium. If heating the volume was a concern, he would have been in big trouble with his many hundreds of hives.

    I don't believe in weakening a hive in the fall to conserve stores. I'd prefer the hive to decide on what it's optimum wintering needs are by giving them adequate space to build their population and honey stores as needed.

    I do notice that my Russian and Carniolan hives seem to require less of both winter population and honey than the Italian mutts I've had so perhaps it is best to determine wintering accomodations based on the needs of the bees.

    Wayne

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Vernon,New York,USA
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    the bees dont heat the intire hive the heat the cluster.
    Dwayne.S
    Westmoreland N.Y.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,496

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    so perhaps it is best to determine wintering accomodations based on the needs of the bees.
    You have just sited differences between bee species so how does a newbee determine wintering accommodations based on needs? I know some like to talk to their bees but I have yet to understand their language.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    You have just sited differences between bee species so how does a newbee determine wintering accommodations based on needs?
    You can only observe them and hope they know what they are doing. I got my first carniolans this past year and two of them only filled a deep and a medium. They wintered well so maybe they were telling me that that was all they needed.

    It was a mild winter here in Maine, though, so I don't think that will become my typical Carni configuration. (Just because they tell you something, it doesn't mean you have to believe them. They can be tricksters at times. You never can tell with bees.)

    Wayne

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,496

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    You can only observe them and hope they know what they are doing
    LOL I can only observe them and hope that I know what they are doing. I am sure they know what they are doing.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I know some like to talk to their bees but I have yet to understand their language.
    after a while you would be amazed at what they tell you. the best way to figure out what they need for winter is leave more than you think that they could possible need, at the end of the winter see how much they used, and how bad the winter was, then throw in the variables, young old,queen, mites,
    and you don't know if the next winter will be worse or not.

    really isn't any easy way. I was taught in Mass. middle of feb. clean the bottom board, and check for stores. bees needed 3 deep frames to make it until the nectar flow(about 30 lbs). In n.y its march 21st, i've poped the tops but not cleaned the bottom boards yet, have droped deeps and mediums from dead outs onto 2 deep and 3 deep hives, and moved frames of honey from heavy hives to light hives, but nothing that keeps them open for any length of time, and I would guess if they have 3 frames of honey now they will make it until the first flow. then again last year I had a whole apiary that I came close to pulling the supers and feeding in June and last year was a fine year for honey. get some one near you to show you the ropes, listen to them but use your own judgment, there are always better ways.

    the best configuration that I have found up here is either 2deeps and a med, or 3 deeps with italian bees. don't have any of the rest. If they come out of winter with plenty of stores and a young queen you will see gangbuster hives starting pretty quick. I have one yard that I have to wrap, they were flying yesterday, while none of my other yards were doing anything.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,496

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    I was taught in Mass. middle of feb. clean the bottom board, and check for stores.
    You are now in Syracuse? Could you even see your bottom board this year in the middle of February? I was getting dizzy plowing snow. Yesterday I scooped out some dead bees from the bottom board and found this bug that someone told me was a bumble bee. I also took a tug on the boxes and they seem pretty heavy to me. Bees were happy chewing away on the cappings that I have been putting on top of the inner cover but based on the weight of the hive I don't think I need to feed. Last year the bees made it to the end of February and then died. It looked like they barely touch the honey in the top deep. We harvested some of it and use the drawn comb for our second try. Things went way faster on the second hive.

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...eb14-11003.jpg
    Last edited by Barry; 03-21-2011 at 05:42 PM. Reason: image too large
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    You are now in Syracuse? Could you even see your bottom board this year in the middle of February?
    yes around syracuse, I can see it from my house but never visit. Up here I moved all the dates a month ahead, so up here I would try it around March 15, never been successful at openeing the hives yet on that date. Just this weekend put away the toboggon and snow shoes, I can now walk in to all my yards, figure mud season will end about june. MY buddy was prunning his apple trees, told me he had all kinds of deer damage ate all the buds. I said couldn't bee deer the snow was too deep for them to get into his yard. I was pruning mine yesterday, looked up in the tree above my head, I was 6 ft tall in my younger days, and all the buds were gone, I figured out it was rabbits walking on top of the snow!!! gota love it
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,496

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    We live within the city limits and usually have herds of deer in the back because of the creek that runs through. They tend to wipe out our small pines that we planted. We didn't see any this year and I think the deep snow protected the pines that are trying to make a come back.

    I don't think you will find too many similarities between anywhere in Mass as compared to Syracuse. You may have to do some unlearning.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,903

    Default Re: When to remove wrap

    other than having to wait longer to do spring management, and having to put on more supers(get a lot more honey) I don't do a thing different here than I did in Mass. oh yea I had to try over wintering nucs in two deeps instead of a single deep. oh yea you can top super here I had to bottom super in Mass.
    but I'm sure thats it, I think.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

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