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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,899

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    soupcan, you're right about not moving them in really cold weather, however, if the alternative is that they die because their cluster is too small, I would take my chances with bringing them into a little warmer area. What PAHunter could do is bring them into the basement for a couple hours to let them reorganize themselves after the move, keep them in the dark if possible. Then move them the short distance into the garage and again keep them in a dark place. Anything you can do to keep the hive around 40 or low 40's is best for them to not be too active, and yet they can still get to food. John

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    838

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    One more thought. . . Make sure you still have ventilation. When I put the blanket over my 2 hives (the hives are pushed together currently) I left the entrance side of the hive open. (I'm using upper entrances and I have a hole on the bottom boardd w/ 1/16" hardware cloth over it so they have plenty of ventilation.)

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Well this cold snap took out two of my hives but the rest sound strong the two that died out had a weak hum to them the last time i did the hum check and i figured they may not make it till spring . My nucs are fine so that make me happy so now i have 12 thats fine by me if i have 10 come spring that was my goal .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Moving bees in cold weather will not hurt them unless you drop them. Infact the cold will help because they are clustered tight and will not fly unless you bang them around so you don't need to worry about orientation flights and can put them back before they fly again. Cold doesn't kill bees moisture in the hive does.

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    OK, an update.

    What happened was pretty much what jmgi/john outlined above. I did not read his post until now, but yesterday after work I moved the Nuc to the basement for a couple hours (if that) ... then to the garage.

    I have been worried about them for a couple weeks, so I had placed a inside/outside thermometer at the top of the hive so I could check the temperature and know they were ok. I had done this on my two larger hives last winter and they ran around 90 degrees inside even when the outside temps where 10.

    This NUC on Wed morning was 26 degrees at the top of the hive and it was about 11 degrees outside. That got me thinking, a couple more days of that and it may be too much. The coldest I had seen since I put the thermometer on them was about 36.

    When I put them into the garage, it was definitely about 12 degrees warmer than the outside temps. I also wrapped some blankets around the hive and made sure my lower and upper vents were open. This morning, the temp at the top of the hive was 43.5 degrees. I felt much better about that, and the temp in the garage was about 25 (outside temp about 13).

    My plan is to put them back to their stand on Sunday afternoon (in the shed). I don't really like moving them, but did not want to find them frozen either. If I end up losing them, so be it, but at least I tried to protect them. When I put them back, I will provide some extra wrap/protection. I'll post back in March the outcome of this hive.

    Thanks for the discussion. I'll be checking on my other hives next week when it gets a little warmer

    I hope everyone's bees make it through this cold snap. Glock, sorry for your loss, good to see you have some strong Nucs to replace them.

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    This freezing weather is supposed to break on Tuesday.
    Temps in the 40's and on Wed it'll be in the 50's.
    Two of our colonies seemed small and I'm expecting them to not make it.
    Wish I didn't have to wait to see how things turn out.

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    It's been so cold that it's 15 now and it seems nice compaired to whats been lately.
    I think what evers left{hives} after this cold snap will make it to spring .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,774

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    I think what evers left{hives} after this cold snap will make it to spring .
    I wouldn't make that bet. Spring is a major killer as far as my experience goes.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    GLOCK...Could you give some tips on wintering nucs? I don't have any this year, but I plan on having at least two next winter. How are you feeding them? Are they just five frames?

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I wouldn't make that bet. Spring is a major killer as far as my experience goes.
    Whys that ACE? if they have plenty of stores and the queen is alive what can happen in reason?
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Monroe County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Should be out flying on Wednesday.

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by MaydayMalone View Post
    GLOCK...Could you give some tips on wintering nucs? I don't have any this year, but I plan on having at least two next winter. How are you feeding them? Are they just five frames?
    This is my first year at wintering nuc so i know nothing but mine are alive and strong right now. One thing i used 3 deeps{15 frames} and theres sugar one the top 5 frames i wraped them allso as of 2 weeks ago they where not up at the sugar yet but they are a humming . This year i want 15 nucs going into winter. .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,510

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Actually, Ace lost his hive well before spring.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...368#post753368
    Regards, Barry

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,337

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Actually, Ace lost his hive well before spring.
    Ehhh, whats a few months here or there ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Most / many people are not detailed oriented.
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Now inaccurate weather is saying 50 on Tues and 61 on Wed.
    Some rollercoaster of a temperature swing and then it goes back below freezing.

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    We lost another colony.
    Since it warmed up I decided to pop the top covers and look for activity.

    This colony appears to have frozen to death and/or starved trying to keep the brood warm.
    Looks like a small cluster.

    20130129173743474.jpg20130129173742480.jpg 20130129173740053.jpg

    As disappointing as this is, the upside is I now have a total of 6 deep supers of drawn comb to start splits onto in Spring.
    Two other colonies are weak and if we get another extended freeze they are probably going to die out.

    Now to the good part...
    Was wearing Carhartt bibs while doing all this with no problems.
    Until I checked the Nuc...

    Lifted the top cover halfway off and those girls let loose a ROAR that I had not heard from them before!
    I couldn't drop the lid back on them cause it would have killed a bunch and had to finish taking it off.
    Glad I had safety glasses on. A cloud of them went for my face and I ran. LOL
    They were mad!

    Had to suit up to put things back together.
    They came at me again and ended up with two stings on the leg but had no other problems with them.
    Can't blame them for protecting their food stores.

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I put my NUC back to the shed Monday evening, I wanted them to be able to fly during this warm spell. They were still alive, although I really did open them up for a look. I wish I was going to be home tomorrow and make a sweep of all my hives to check on them. I know my 2 hives at home are still fine, would like to get to my brothers to check on my other two. Have not been around them since before the cold snap. I guess I'll text my nephew around noon and have him check for activity. Hoping for the best. Gearing up to get into equipment building mode in February. Plan to take a few days off and build some NUCs (6 frame) and some combo bottom board/slatted racks.

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    We lost another colony.
    Since it warmed up I decided to pop the top covers and look for activity.

    This colony appears to have frozen to death and/or starved trying to keep the brood warm.
    Looks like a small cluster.

    20130129173743474.jpg20130129173742480.jpg 20130129173740053.jpg

    As disappointing as this is, the upside is I now have a total of 6 deep supers of drawn comb to start splits onto in Spring.
    Two other colonies are weak and if we get another extended freeze they are probably going to die out.

    Now to the good part...
    Was wearing Carhartt bibs while doing all this with no problems.
    Until I checked the Nuc...

    Lifted the top cover halfway off and those girls let loose a ROAR that I had not heard from them before!
    I couldn't drop the lid back on them cause it would have killed a bunch and had to finish taking it off.
    Glad I had safety glasses on. A cloud of them went for my face and I ran. LOL
    They were mad!

    Had to suit up to put things back together.
    They came at me again and ended up with two stings on the leg but had no other problems with them.
    Can't blame them for protecting their food stores.
    Allen,I had done the same thing the other day while trying to take a peak at one of my nucs.The bees were all up top and I was not able to put the top back down without smashing bees,I guess I got lucky they are very easy to work with.

  19. #139
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    I always thought the largest number of colonies that die is in March for PA?

    In my experience, some starve out because there isn't enough feed to support brood rearing. Some die out because overwintered bees life expectancy has been shortened due to varroa.The queen can't replace the dying fast enough to keep the hive functioning properly.

  20. #140
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Colony update here in Pa

    It's great to be working the bees again if only for a short moment.
    Bees are flying at all the hives and decided to give some 2-1 sugar syrup to the 3 main hives. They all started on it right away.
    Am leaving the syrup on till tomorrow, it's supposed to be in the mid-40's all night.

    In the photo, the Nuc is closest to the camera and the tall stack with strap is the drawn comb storage waiting for Spring.
    Did some re-allocating of resources.
    Took capped honey frames from the storage stack and gave it to one of the weaker hives.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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