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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default How big is the hive after winter?

    I've seen videos of people checking January hives and they seem big? How big is a 2 deep hive coming outta northern winter?

    EDITED: I have Carniolans I keep forgetting people can't read my mind.
    Last edited by TheBuzz; 11-07-2012 at 12:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default Re: How big is the hive after winter?

    There are a lot of variables, how much protein was fed to the bees how much syrup. The guys taking bees into Feb almonds really have to feed.
    Overall health of the hive, what type of bees you have. A hive of russians not fed extra food might come through winter with a cluster the size of a grapefruit, & build up like crazy by April.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: How big is the hive after winter?

    Ideally the cluster should be close to the same size as it was at the beginning of real winter (that is, you don't lose too many bees) but it's always smaller in late winter than late fall. Not all the bees in late fall are winter bees, and they die off.

    And of course, sometimes the cluster is REALLY small, like all dead. Winter is tough on bees and not all hives make it, even when they have plenty of stores.

    Carnies will have a smaller cluster in late winter than Italians, I think, but they also tend to build up fast, so they might appear to have overwintered with more bees than they really did if you don't look until late.

    More important than cluster size is fresh brood in late winter, healthy bees, and good activity. If there are enough bees to raise sufficient brood, even a small cluster will re-populate the hive quickly.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: How big is the hive after winter?

    Try to locate a book titled The Hive and the Honey Bee.
    It has a chapter towards the back of the book that covers the topic of wintering bees.
    It has diagrames of hives for wintering.
    Good luck,
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

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