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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    191

    Default Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    I'm in my second year, attempting to over-winter 4 nucs and 2 hives this year. Here in Charlotte, NC, we have somewhat mild winters, with periods of dry breezy cold. I am using homemade slatted racks on two of my smallest nucs and my main two hives, with screened bottom boards on all 6 colonies. Should I close up any of my screened bottoms? Should I add in a top entrance to any or all of my hives, and is this necessary if I leave the screened bottom boards open? One of my nucs has small openings between the first and second boxes ... should I plug those up with hay or grass, add a top entrance ... both?

    I don't think I've fed enough this fall, especially if this season will be as warm as last year, so I'm planning on sugar cakes at some point. My smallest nuc, population-wise, is a stack of three 5-frame deep boxes. If the top box frames aren't filled totally with capped honey/syrup, should I remove that entirely and it's empty single-frame feeder and feed once the bees have made it to the top of the second box? Is it a good practice to remove supers that are only partially full with some capped honey but mostly uncapped nectar for over-wintering and replacing with dry feed? (I was under the impression after my first year that the bees needed space to move vertically into over the course of winter ... maybe a mistaken impression?)

    Thanks in advance, everybody!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    you are in an area that can feed liquid (2-1) all winter,, since you do not have continual freezing conditions,,

    the bees like to cluster,, keep feed as close to cluster as you can,,

    I have never had a 3 deep nuc ,, cant help you there,,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,457

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    If the top box frames aren't filled totally with capped honey/syrup, should I remove that entirely and it's empty single-frame feeder and feed once the bees have made it to the top of the second box? Is it a good practice to remove supers that are only partially full with some capped honey but mostly uncapped nectar for over-wintering and replacing with dry feed?
    What's in the middle story? How much feed? Where is the cluster. Top box isn't totally full...how full?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by beegeorge View Post
    you are in an area that can feed liquid (2-1) all winter,, since you do not have continual freezing conditions,,,
    Thanks, beegeorge. After hearing about condensation worries, affecting hive temperature, etc., I was afraid to put in the last batch of heavy syrup. I now realize that region matters greatly when it comes to what to do and when.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    What's in the middle story? How much feed? Where is the cluster. Top box isn't totally full...how full?
    Last I looked, a couple weeks ago, the top had 4 frames, 1 drawn and 1 partially drawn, all with wet syrup "nectar" in the combs. I put in two drawn, empty combs I had in their place, thinking it'd give them more room to pack away the stores. I need to go in and verify what's what, but was worried I'd be upsetting the balance of things if I do a full inspection at this time. The cluster is in the bottom box, judging from what I hear at night when I listen with my ear against the hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    If you get cold, damp weather, I'd put the sticky boards in to close up the screened bottom boards. You should have enough ventilation without upper entrances, especially if you have a telescoping cover over an inner cover.

    If you have drawn comb in that top box, you should be fine to put either a liquid feeder or a candy board/sugar blocks on top of it, the bees will cluster on the empty comb just fine. Undrawn comb or plain foundation is more of a problem.

    However, if the second box is full of honey, they probably won't use it all and end up in the middle box anyway. I'd have left the "nectar", since it was probably not nectar but honey in incompletely filled cells. Again, the bees would consume it just fine and will cluster in empty comb.

    Next year feed them up in September, they do better on their own stores. Feed a partial protein patty too.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Peter our bees (down here) were still bringing in pollen yesturday, do you still think it would be neccessary to feed them a partial pollen patty?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    876

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Beegeorge have you ever feed your bees sugar syrup in Jan or Feb?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Peter our bees (down here) were still bringing in pollen yesturday, do you still think it would be neccessary to feed them a partial pollen patty?
    sfisher, what kind of pollen would that be? What was its color(s) and how much? Everything's shut down up this way, including aster, with zero pollen coming in since two weeks ago.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,637

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    i have a few that are lighter than i would like at this point, but i know they won't be in trouble any time soon. i weighed my hives last week, and will check them again about the first of january. i'll use my version of patties if needed, but it shouldn't be until late winter, if at all.

    my version of patties is about a 10:1 mix with some dry pollen sub added. it makes a paste that can be molded easily into a patty, and is easily consumed be the bees. it goes on plastic, right on the top bars, just inside the walls of an empty medium.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i have a few that are lighter than i would like at this point, but i know they won't be in trouble any time soon. i weighed my hives last week, and will check them again about the first of january. i'll use my version of patties if needed, but it shouldn't be until late winter, if at all.

    my version of patties is about a 10:1 mix with some dry pollen sub added. it makes a paste that can be molded easily into a patty, and is easily consumed be the bees. it goes on plastic, right on the top bars, just inside the walls of an empty medium.
    squarepeg, are pollen patties better for the bees in winter than dry pollen? I use a converted Beetle Jail to feed straight-up pollen. I've learned the bees won't take it if it's on top, during colder weather, but between the boxes they'll go for it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,637

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    squarepeg, are pollen patties better for the bees in winter than dry pollen? I use a converted Beetle Jail to feed straight-up pollen. I've learned the bees won't take it if it's on top, during colder weather, but between the boxes they'll go for it.
    some feel that the protein in the pollen sub isn't necessary in the winter, and may artificially stimulate brooding which might be deleterious. i don't know for sure.

    my approach is not to feed at all unless it is to prevent starvation. i will give pollen sub if i have to feed in late winter/early spring as this is when the natural pollens start to come in anyway.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Tom Davidson, sorry I thought you were close enough to me that our bees would be doing the same thing. As of yesturday they were bringing in pollen that is the same color as them. It was hard to see on their legs at first, but once I spotted it, it became very noticable. What kind I have no ideal, a few are still bringing in a small amount of goldenrod. Today the high was 55 most all bees stayed inside.

    Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Ventillation and Emergency Feeding barrage

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Tom Davidson, sorry I thought you were close enough to me that our bees would be doing the same thing. ... Steve
    Steve, the differences between regions in close proximity amaze me as it concerns the bees and flora. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the flora here, discovering and journaling them, so I can better tell the signs of the seasons, what's happening and what may happen. Reminds me to keep in touch with my local beekeepers and all their wisdom.

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