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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Winter Survival; Northern States

    I recently came across one beek's story about a disastrous winter. It was 2011 and there was not winter thaw that bees could take advantage of for a cleansing flight. Many beeks in the area lost 100% of their hives. Here is a link about winter survival and Warres that made a huge amount of sense to me:

    http://www.thewarrestore.com/wintersurvival.htm

    I'm looking forward to trying that kind of hive next year, if possible.

    Peter Collins in Lower Michigan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Well I have had a warre that has survived two years. I have not gotten much honey from it, but it has survived nicely. It seems to make sense that if a warre will use less honey stores it will require less cleansing flights. One thing I have done is add an upper entrance to my warres, but I will continue to use them in my apiaries.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    To Meliman,

    John Moerschbacher in Alberta, Canada designed feeder no. 8 in http://warre.biobees.com/feeders.htm He leaves it on his hive year-round to act as condensation collector for bees to get water from. This is my first year of beekeeping and I added a similar feeder design on my Warre hive instead of a quilt. I'll let you know come Spring if it works for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    p.s. I added a waffle shelf liner in the feeder to prevent the bees from drowning.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    http://archive.org/stream/cu31924003...e/n35/mode/2up
    Here's a link to a book called Constructive beekeeping. You might find it very interesting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    portland, dorset, UK
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Not for me to judge the experiences of another beekeeper -especially one who lives in such a different environment to myself but I'd be reticent to change my own methods based on...

    Quote Originally Posted by MeliMan View Post
    one beek's story about a disastrous winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    East Lansing Michigan USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    To Meliman,

    John Moerschbacher in Alberta, Canada designed feeder no. 8 in http://warre.biobees.com/feeders.htm He leaves it on his hive year-round to act as condensation collector for bees to get water from. This is my first year of beekeeping and I added a similar feeder design on my Warre hive instead of a quilt. I'll let you know come Spring if it works for me.
    I'm interested in this concept. Could you put a traditional quilt above this, or would that just absorb the moisture and defeat the purpose? So you just top it with insulating foam board and place the lid over it.... Hmmm
    Please follow up with your results this spring.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    To Darb,

    It's 40 degrees F in the sun right now (31 in the shade) and some of my bees dare to go outside. So I think they're still alive and well. I dare not open the hive up yet though until the temp goes up to 65 or above. I decided not to put the quilt back on after trying the traditional Warre hive set-up because the quilt and the original top feeder grew molds after a while. So my set-up from top to bottom is a flat roof with styrofoam and a solid plastic sheet under the flat roof, the top feeder with entrance hole (covered with a detachable screen so I can pour sugar syrup without being bothered by the bees), 4 hive bodies with top bars, and a solid floor with mouse guard and awning over the bottom entrance (to keep snow from blocking the entrance). I'm not sure if the bottom two hives have bees with combs in them (at least the bottom hive is definitely empty) but the top two are definitely full of comb (as observed through the view windows). You can see my hive in this link (see the picture dated 10-30-12 for the current set-up). Ignore the second hive that's painted white. I didn't catch a swarm last year so I never got it filled. http://www.keepandshare.com/photo/45...honeybees?ifr=

    We still have one month of winter so anything can happen to my bees. I'll give an update when Spring gets here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Quote Originally Posted by Darb View Post
    I'm interested in this concept. Could you put a traditional quilt above this, or would that just absorb the moisture and defeat the purpose? So you just top it with insulating foam board and place the lid over it.... Hmmm
    Please follow up with your results this spring.
    I have a warre wintered with this setup. It is making it through the winter thus far. Will await the spring to see the final results. We certainly had days where I could see frost build up around that upper entrance. It made me glad I put it on. I have a bunch of these made and plan to continue using them.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    small top vent hole, wrapping, extra stores. Do fine. Although we are in the south we do have severe winter winds. The wind sucks out all warmth of everything.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    East Lansing Michigan USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush_84 View Post
    I have a warre wintered with this setup. It is making it through the winter thus far. Will await the spring to see the final results. We certainly had days where I could see frost build up around that upper entrance. It made me glad I put it on. I have a bunch of these made and plan to continue using them.
    Well, how did they do?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    538

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Quote Originally Posted by Darb View Post
    Well, how did they do?
    They died. Then again all of my hives died. Two tbh, one warre, and two langs. All dead.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    fountain city, wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Winter Survival; Northern States

    Had four in fall after harvest, i set off a robbing episode, then had three, one died in winter with some stores left, the two that made it were in homemade warres built of 1 1/4 red cedar. the robbing was my fault i believe, i had these gooey sticky hunks of crushed comb that i placed on each hive entrance to let them recover whatever honey was on them, the loved it, but the neighbors robbed out the strongest hive i had. beginners mistake, you have been warned!!

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