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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default When do we know they made it through winter?

    As the title says, assuming we are then able to check at least every couple of weeks on stores so they don't strarve, when can we count a hive as made it through?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pickaway/Fairfield Cty, OH
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    JMO- but I'd say if they're raising drones they've completed the cycle.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Never ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Here in Vermont...when the Dandelion flow starts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Dandelion.......... I should have thought of that..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Red maple in Fl.
    Im really not that serious

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    I relax when my bees start their February brood cycle.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,063

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Bees can and do starve out regularly in late spring when they are brooding up big and you get a week of cold and rain. This can be during and after Dandelions!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    972

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Swarm cells!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    April 1 is when I count hives to determine loses from the past year and the number that I am starting with in the current year. For my area March is a great starvation month. I have to keep my eye on them. They seem to want to raise brood but can't get out because of the rain.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    I'm thinking when July hits. lol

    April sounds about right.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    If there is still open brood a week after I touched the hive in the spring.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,657

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    This is very location specific. For us we have dandelions in December through May, without a real massive flow from them. Our maples start in February, but everything shuts down again for a while after the maples and you can certainly lose colonies during this mini-dearth. I've lost hives during this period and have only beekeeper neglect to blame. So allowing for "neglect", I'd say the first real flow after the maples (typically fruit trees). However, assuming you're a good beekeeper, then if your bees make it to the maples, then you're probably in good shape, but watch them carefully - especially your biggest colonies.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Everyone knows there is only one season in Florida ! You know they've survived because you can see cleansing flights. Don't keep opening the hive either, your letting their little bit of heat out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    for me it is when the dandelions have started to pop.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,639

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    not sure here. i guess it would be when they start gaining instead of losing weight.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Being sick and tired of losing perfectly good hives during winter I am putting my ear against the hive bodies this year from time to time to hear them buzzing. If I don't hear anything I am not waiting until spring to see if they can be saved with some intervention. At least I can plan rather than get disappointed when the dandelions are in bloom and I have no bees.
    Listening allows me to hear if they are moving up or down also. Some people use this movement to see if they have used up their stores.
    If so, they need to be fed sugar syrup.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    It warmed up here enough today for them to break cluster and get out. Unfortunately, about 30 chilled on the top cover and died. I did take a peek inside thru the inside cover and saw some activity when I added some sugar for them to munch on. Temps are going to be in the 50 and 60 degree range the next few days, then cold again. Thought they might need a snack.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    Once it stops raining for more than an hour. Mid april.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Clark county, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: When do we know they made it through winter?

    The reason I asked was because I know I need to sell off some of my over wintered nucs. Was hoping for an earlier date so I could decide how many I need to sell without leaving myself short on bees. I guess I'm just going to have to make a decision and advertise them now and just HOPE I don't leave myself with less than I wanted.

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