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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Bees Prepping for Winter

    I closed down my hive entrances for winter, only leaving one hole open but with hardware cloth over it as a mouse gaurd. I was taking a close look at the entrances the other day and noticed my New World Carniolan bees have started propolizing their entrance to reduce it more but the Buckfast bees haven't. The Buckfast bees are from MS and are perhaps not cold acclimated but the NWC hive also is in front of the Buckfast one and perhaps acts like a windbreak for it. I wasn't closing off the single hole any more because I figured they needed to be able to vent the humidity out of the hive.

    Has anyone else noticed their bees reducing their entrance with propolis? The rest of both hives are well propolized closed otherwise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denison, Tx
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    My TB has done the same over the last week. They have closed a 1 inch hole down to an entrance the size for two bees to enter. Evidently they know what they are doing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by jim314 View Post
    My TB has done the same over the last week. They have closed a 1 inch hole down to an entrance the size for two bees to enter. Evidently they know what they are doing
    Are your bees from a local source? A certain breed? I am wondering if they do this better if they are a certain breed or if they are cold acclimated or something.

    Just curious. Not many posts on top bar these days. I was trying to give us something, hopefully educational, to post on. If one breed or northern acclimated bees tend to do this more than other breeds or southern acclimated bees then I will learn this behavior might make a difference in wintering.
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 11-25-2012 at 08:16 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denison, Tx
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Colleen,

    The hive is a last Spring's BeeWeaver package. They swarmed 2 months after putting them in, so it is now a cross between BeeWeaver's and local drones. The none of the langs are reducing their openings any. It was 54 degrees when I took these pictures this morning and the bees were coming and going from all the hives.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Thanks! Great pic of the reduction, looks like they are still at it. None of your Langs swarmed?

    My NWC hive is a requeen of an Italian package out of Georgia. The new queen was from Strachan in California. Yuba City I guess from the contact info, so they do get fairly cold there at night in winter. I have had the new queen since late August, long enough that all the bees are her progeny.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denison, Tx
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    All 4 the year old langs swarmed. The two new ones from caught swarms this spring didn't.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    None of mine have tried to reduce their own entrances. I'm in the same area as Jim. Weaver All-Americans or daughters of them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denison, Tx
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Steven, I wonder if wind protection has anything to do with it? Your hives are much more protected than mine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Quote Originally Posted by jim314 View Post
    Steven, I wonder if wind protection has anything to do with it? Your hives are much more protected than mine.
    I wonder if that plays a part too. My NWC hive has no wind protection other than a south facing entrance but the NWC provides wind protection for the Buckfast hive (that isn't reducing their entrance). I also wonder if entrance shape plays a role. Steven, are you running TBHs with round entrances or are you running traditional Lang hives?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Jim- Yep, that's what I'm thinking. I've got the north wind blocked by that fence and tree. We had some 76mph winds blow through
    this part of town last year. Tore the top off of my neighbors tree. my hives never moved. Even with thier tall skinny legs.

    Colleen-I have five 1" holes drilled in the end of my big hives. I stop them down to one during winter or if the colony is small.
    You can see all sorts of stuff about them by looking here-http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/u401/StevenOgborn/
    There's another full sized TBH, two of the nuc sized TBHs and a double deep Lang hive packed in there as of now.
    Looks like a trailer park.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    Sorry, I can't get the link to work. Try this http://s1066.photobucket.com/albums/...orn/?start=all

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Bees Prepping for Winter

    About half of my hives are doing it now.

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