Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Old Town, Maine, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Cold Weather Activity

    Greetings all! Been in lurk mode for a while here, but over the past few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about something. On Thanksgiving day, I consolidated my hives in preparation for the cold weather. I have one hive that was started from a swarm this year that has consistently worked and flew in substantially colder weather than all of the others. On days when my other hives have stayed home and kept warm, these girls consistently are extremely active. While crowding all of the hives together, I put a little window screen on the entrances, for just in case matters. None of my other hives hardly even came and looked out the front door while they were getting moved around. The cold active hive however, produced hundreds of ladies at the front door. This was on a day that was maybe 20 degrees max.
    Today, I gave the hives a walk around, and realized that I hadn't ever installed any sort of a top entrance in the active hive. It has a migratory top, and a piece of homasote underneath it. I started cutting away at the homasote to create a top entrance, and all of a sudden, there were hundreds of less than impressed bees checking out the situation. They didn't fly or come after me, but it was evident that they weren't happy.
    Is this much activity from a hive in below freezing weather detrimental to their long term success? I wondered if perhaps their propensity to being active in cold weather would lead them to ultimately consume more stores over the winter, and lead them to starvation more quickly. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Cold Weather Activity

    The more active they are the more stores they consume. Its not usually cold that kills them, its starvation. I put a heat lamp on one of my hives my second year. They didn't make it, there may have been other problems though I'm sure they died of starvation. Working in colder weather can be a good thing if there is something for them to bring in. There is not much to collect in winter except for maybe your neighbors chicken feed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Cold Weather Activity

    I've always seen interference as a setback. They'll manage to survive. The only things that help are to keep snow off the entrance and wind from gushing in during harsh storms.
    Honey is the best thing ever discovered ! www.greenanything.net/honey-bees.php

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,379

    Default Re: Cold Weather Activity

    Ledge - bees that are more active most likely will consume more stores than inactive bees. But they may also have put away more stores than the other hives. If you are concerned that they may not have enough stores, you can add a bag of granulated sugar above the top bars. Put an additional empty hive body over the sugar to protect it. Obviously, try to do this on a warmer day. There are lots of threads you can find with Search on feeding dry sugar.
    Graham
    --- HVAC design via ESP ... Who'd a thunk it ...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,219

    Default Re: Cold Weather Activity

    I have some hives that fly more then others when it cold. I read somewhere that if they are flying at cold temp they may winter better.

    I have two hives that were split last spring both made their own queens from eggs from the previous queen, one flies when its cold and the other doesn't. Go figure.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads