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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default When will bees break cluster?

    Does it take consecutive nights of 45 + temps? Or just a few warm days?
    Any rule of thumb which can be used for reference? On the warm days when they do fly, do they go back into cluster formation when the night time temps hit below freezing?

    The reason I ask is I have a single deep colony that does have sugar cake on top of the frames which they are eating readily (not a lot of it left). Still cold weather here so I can't inspect all to see what all they have left to eat. I'd like to add a frame of honey to them (from a hive that didn't make it) but don't want to be digging through the cluster to position it close to them. I also have pollen patties to give them, I know I can lay one on top of the frames over the cluster.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    315

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeePappy View Post
    Does it take consecutive nights of 45 + temps? Or just a few warm days?
    Any rule of thumb which can be used for reference? On the warm days when they do fly, do they go back into cluster formation when the night time temps hit below freezing?

    The reason I ask is I have a single deep colony that does have sugar cake on top of the frames which they are eating readily (not a lot of it left). Still cold weather here so I can't inspect all to see what all they have left to eat. I'd like to add a frame of honey to them (from a hive that didn't make it) but don't want to be digging through the cluster to position it close to them. I also have pollen patties to give them, I know I can lay one on top of the frames over the cluster.
    A single warm day is all you need. Watch for bees flying out. Bees will cluster when it's cold and break out when it's warm. It's not like they only go into a cluster and break out once a year. If the bees are flying then the bees can reach honey anywhere in the hive, so it doesn't have to be right on them. Great idea to add a frame first chance you get. Much better to do that then risk them starving.

    Good luck!
    Robbin Harrell NW Florida(8A) / 12 hives / 2 nd Year / 4 TF - 8 T

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,386

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    One sunny day at 30 F might do it for a cleansing flight. One sunny day at 50 F and they will be out in force. One sunny dat at 80 F (we got one day before yesterday) and I'm sure every bee took a flight... The bees don't care how many days, they care how warm it is now.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Thank you both. That's why I ask the questions to gain the knowledge. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Cambridge Mn USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Had that happen in early febuary on a 40 degree day and alot of bee's cleansed and crashed and burned in the snow that hive is since deceased lost alot of bee's.Might of had something to do with the Grinner that got in my aipary that I had to shoot. Weird because it's been below zero here for most of the winter.Those things hole up like coons but suppose it was warm a couple days made him come out. 2 hives down 1 left still alive mountain camped that one 2 weeks ago still eating sugar hope they can make it another 3 weeks til we get some consistant warm weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Quote Originally Posted by rumeye View Post
    Might of had something to do with the Grinner that got in my aipary that I had to shoot.
    The what?
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    I've never heard of one either, but the wilflife of MN (I lived there for 7 years) isn;t very different fromthat of Michigan. The only thing i can think of would be an opossum. They have kind of a "grin" when you corner them. If that isn't it, i have no idea

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Sounds like a low budget horror movie you'd find in Walmart's discount DVD bin. "The Grinner"
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Owego, ny
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    It's a possum

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Djmny View Post
    It's a possum
    I guessed a possum. That's better than a Polecat.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Cambridge Mn USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: When will bees break cluster?

    Yes it's a possum . 20 years ago we had none but because of some warm winters and drought they hauled in hay from down south . Now we have a very good population of them here. That son of a gun was sitting right in front eating bees. I don't know how long he was there but he's taking a dirt nap now. One good thing is their slow so you can hit them with the truck real easy when they are on the road.

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