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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Just returned from our South Carolina yard and the hives are a full month ahead of last year. Frames packed with pollen and pollen coming with some hives already getting pollen bound. Many light hives due to warm weather and brood raising activity with minimial nectar coming in. We found many hives with 5 frames of brood burning through honey like it was mid Februay. Spent hours looking for mites and found none so the end of November formic treatment did it's job. Put a gallon of 1:1 for each and had to throw a 2nd deep on several. 2013 could be a great year but those who went into winter with well stocked hives, normally checking the start of February may not want to wait.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Hard freeze in late Jan is not going to be pretty...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,019

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    It seems the East coast is having a mild winter while out here in the West it is much colder than normal. Usually we get a cold snap for about 2 to 4 weeks starting about this time of the year. we have already had over a month of those temperatures and are just now beginning what would typically be the coldest part of our winter. It will be interesting to see just how cold it gets. It is 7 degrees right now. we seldom see days below the teens.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    The majority of the nation will be frigid beginning today Sunday, 1/13/2013, it will warm up slightly for the Ohio valley this week, later in the week, a strong cold front will sweep from the Planes to the east coast to the gulf.
    temps will be in the single digits at night for most of the eastern USA. This is a long term freeze, will last till the first week of February!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,610

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Checked mine yesterday, seemed to have good weight still and some activity on the porch.
    I believe I am more ready for spring than the girls are. lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    It got up to 69 yesterday and I had a lot of activity in my hives. Some bees were even bringing in this white looking pollen but I dont know where it was coming from. I've only lost one or two so far but the first week of March always seems to be my panic point. It will warm up for a few days and then drop down real low for a week or so and kill a third of my bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,581

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    very interesting joel, thanks for the report.

    can you share what mite treatment you applied in november?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,867

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    The hives with small clusters can get by when temps don't go below 20, but when those long hard freezes come with temps down to single digits at night, then those small clusters usually perish unless you have super insulation around them. I'm worried about more than a few of my own these next few weeks. John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    East Hampton, CT, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    It's about 50 degrees here today, all 4 hives are flying. I did a quick weight heft and popped the top covers for a quick look, all seems well. (fingers crossed)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,400

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Here is Californias extreme weather currently

    Alturas: Currently -1 degrees

    Bay Area: Currently 42 degrees

    L.A - 52 degrees

    I think LoggerMike's bees are on a major lockdown if they arnt in the valley already!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Got up to almost +11 deg. F today. You beeks in the east will see the lows in the next couple of days. The good news is that there should be a big jump up in day and night temps several days later. My girls might be able to fly then. Forcast weather is from: weathertrends360.com. Take a look at it for your apiary.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Bees, Weather Trends, 13 Jan 2013.jpgOops, pix did not post. What am I doing wrong?

    Forcasted weather:

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    10 below here this morning. Its sunny and 16 now. Gonna have to dig them out of the snow to get them to the Valley. Last year at this time it was 60 degrees here and the bees were gathering dry sub.Where is global warming when you need it?

    Also ,last year with the early start to brood raising, mites also got an early start and by mid summer were at scary levels here. Just a word to the wise.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Where is global warming when you need it?

    Messing with the weather as usual. I hear China is many degrees colder than ever before too.

    That's why they changed it to Climate Change.
    Around the time Texas froze.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    We did a top treatment with formic acid. We buy it in bulk (5 gallon tote), and mix it to about 65% and wearing rubber gloves and a dust mask make up our own pads simply using 1 folded paper towel soaked in formic. We slide the "pad" in a sandwhich sized ziplock bag with about 2 inches of a corner sticking out of the bag to wick out the formic placed right over the cluster. A treatment cost less than a dollar and my son and I can make up 200 in an hour. Temps were in high 60's low 70's for a week or so with broodless clusters.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    We did a top treatment with formic acid. We buy it in bulk (5 gallon tote), and mix it to about 65% and wearing rubber gloves and a dust mask make up our own pads simply using 1 folded paper towel soaked in formic. We slide the "pad" in a sandwhich sized ziplock bag with about 2 inches of a corner sticking out of the bag to wick out the formic placed right over the cluster. A treatment cost less than a dollar and my son and I can make up 200 in an hour. Temps were in high 60's low 70's for a week or so with broodless clusters.
    I noticed the same thing in South Carolina last week. I couldn't believe I was seeing capped drone brood. I also did several either rolls as well with no evidence of mites. Last year I don't think bees ever went broodless that overwinter in the south. For me, I had mite issues starting in late Feb last year and had to address mites 3 times during the year, the last of which was late Oct during a warm week. Based on the levels I noticed last winter I knew it was going to be a bad year for mites. However, I think that after a round or two of hatching bees and drones emerge, the mites will be back with a vengence again with this warm season. I sure hope the hives don't swarm before before I can split them in March- yikes!!
    I'm curious, do you make your own syrup or do you have a source in SC?

    Thanks

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    We make our own syrup. Fortunately I have a friend close by who has a tankless water heater with an outside outlet and I get 180 degree water. We do the 25lb bags of sugar and mix in 55 gallon drums. I have a 12 volt pump to move it from drums to feeders or drums on the ground or totes with a spigot for feeder if we just have a top off to do.

    I've spent some time looking for HFCS nearby Florence with no luck.

    multiple Frames of capped brood and drone cells in January where a big suprise for me as well - You are right, we have Hives that will be swarm condition by mid march. Usually we expect to see that start the beginning of the 2nd week of April.

    Let's hope this progress continues and let's hope we can keep up with it!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    primm springs, tenn
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Attention couch potatoes (or is it couch pota'to) time to check the bees!!

    Joel, where I come from we call 'em couch pa taters (lol). just tryin to add a little humor into the conversation. Ain't it early for a lot of pollen to be coming in? wonder what kind of pollen it could be.
    Anyway, happy for you

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