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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,995

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Isn't Vancouver BC Canada far up north where it is still cold and snowy? Wasn't it months too early to order a bee package? Even down here we don't get our packages that early.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Island county, Washington, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by vancity View Post
    Well their is some bad news and some good news. Bad news is my bloody heating pad as a 2 hours auto shut off, meaning I must put on an alarm for every two hours and sleep on the couch to keep it on, but I'm up for it as it's for the bees. Good news is they're even more awake now and really clustering around the feeder.
    Those auto shut-offs are so annoying! Maybe you can get a timer like Stephenbird suggested, or just brave it out for the sake of the bees. Oh, what we all do for our bees.......! Hang in there! That is REALLY great that they're clustering around the feeder!!
    Quote Originally Posted by vancity View Post
    I started the day in angst and depression that my bees would die, but I'm ending it and beginning a new day with vigor and might, ready to wake up every 2 hours to turn on the dang heating pad.
    But it's great that now there's hope, instead of angst and depression! And since you're losing sleep taking care of your girls.....is there a Tim Hortons near you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    The reason for feeding 2 to 1 is because the 1 to 1 will make the interior of the hive too damp. With 2 to 1 they will collect only the water they need from close by near the hive which is plentiful now.
    Good point. Like I said I have mostly warrés and the hive design takes care of the excess moisture issue. But when I started the kTBH 3 years ago (from a package using 1:1 syrup) I couldn't believe all the moisture in it! I was freaking out not knowing what was causing it. What you said makes perfect sense.
    Last edited by Ziva; 03-03-2013 at 11:35 AM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    The southwestern corner of BC has pretty mild winters. When and if it snows it doesn't stick around for long, many times melting by the next day. Our biggest issue is rain. The year we hosted the winter Olympics the bees were flying almost every day working hazel starting Jan. 15th. This year it started about mid Feb and the pussy willow and early cherry are not far off blooming.

    As far as the packages go I wouldn't recommend them. Instead I would wait until late May and look for someone to shake a package of local bees and a queen.

    Comparing them to a 4 frame June 1st nuc, the nuc will out perform the early package most every time.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Island county, Washington, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Isn't Vancouver BC Canada far up north where it is still cold and snowy? Wasn't it months too early to order a bee package? Even down here we don't get our packages that early.
    Since the OP's name is "vancity" I'm assuming the location is Vancouver City which is lower BC ~Lat49. I'm on an island just south of there (I can see Vancouver Is from here) and we have more rain than snow. In fact it didn't snow at all this year (well, just a little bit) but we have 9-10 months of constant rain. Today's high forecast is 10c (45F). It's been raining and really windy the past few days (lots of whitecaps/rough looking ocean) but today there's a bit of sun poking through the mostly clouds.

    Our packages are being flown in by cessna in April. They always arrive in April and it's always raining when they're hived. We have to feed up to July (when the sun decides to come out for more than a few hours or days at a time).

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Got to go with Ziva, temps are not that bad, equal to my mid-April when most packages arrive (because of Georgia seasons). When shipped with syrup, packages can arrive very wet, and very full. My first packages I installed upon returning home as temps were going to drop. Should have kept them inside and let them clean off and dry out. My bees that froze looked like frosted flakes, sugar coated. Wet bees freeze fast.

    Now that the bees are settled in a little bit, the question is how long before some pollen is available. If there is anything available they will fly in low 40's to mid 40's depending on hive. Rain will keep them home, but an hour of dry will get them out.

    My concern is that you get the bees laying too heavily before the season starts. Local, local ,local on that call. If you need to hold them off for more than 3 weeks, light on the sub and dry sugar on a sheet of paper on top of the frames will keep them fed.

    After they have a little comb or foundation, I would not worry too much about keeping the heat on. If they have brood and it gets cold, maybe give them a shot of heat, they should be doing fine without the heat in the 30's and 40's.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 03-03-2013 at 01:24 PM. Reason: had to run

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Island county, Washington, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    My concern is that you get the bees laying too heavily before the season starts. Local, local ,local on that call. If you need to hold them off for more than 3 weeks, light on the sub and dry sugar on a sheet of paper on top of the frames will keep them fed.
    But it's a hTBH so there are no frames and zero comb or foundation. The top bars are butted together (forming a 'roof') so there's no access for the bees to move up between the bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    After they have a little comb or foundation, I would not worry too much about keeping the heat on. If they have brood and it gets cold, maybe give them a shot of heat, they should be doing fine without the heat in the 30's and 40's.
    Even for Italians? I don't know because up here in this cool, rainy climate I've only had Carniolan, Carniolan/mutt mix. Once, I got a package that was supposed to have a carni queen, but the queen was Italian. Those bees rarely left the hive due to the cool temps and rain,(and had to be fed constantly) but the Carni's were out foraging anyway. I requeened as soon as possible with a Carni and then the hive started doing well.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Not really, It's quite mild here, we didn't get any snow this year!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,527

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Mild for Canadians, but what about bees!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    I want to update you guys on the status today. The day is currently beautiful temps hitting 13c (which is quite nice). I took of the blanket and guess what the queen flew out and then flew back in (I guess for fresh air?) and then hundreds of bees began to take relief flights and put a nice brown speckled pattern on my deck. They aren't eating much feed and only took about 75 ML but I think they'll change and start eating, I've dropped a pollen patty and they seem to be taking to it. Weather is looking great for the next 2 days (sunny and mild). Not much comb action yet but I'll wait and see. But they're really flying and exploring the environment which is awesome.

    But I honestly didn't think the queen would be alive, but she is and that's a big relief.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Slide a bar on the edge of the cluster a little apart if you have a little space above. Dry below with a little sprinkle to get it set will work as well. It all depends on how long you need to stall. I would not worry about syrup in the short term. I would use it (probably 5/3), but I am just guessing how long to forage.
    Bees with brood will not travel off the brood to get feed if it gets cold. when they starve with honey on the next frame. That is my concern with early bees, sub and syrup.
    Yes, 30's and forties to install does work. Some Italians will fly at 41, 42. Others 46 or so. Bare frames is tough. If I had to do TBH again without comb and with early bees it would be in a TBH nuc of some kind, at least for those first few frames to get drawn. Even cardboard followers would help. Later would have been better, if possible. Straight ahead now.
    Switching to carnis makes sense, just not now.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Delta Bay your advice so far has been great, yup I got the package from Bob really nice guy. What do you think the odds of survival are for my package? The queen is alive and well, the bees are flying and relieving themselves. Now that they've relieved them selves I think they'll start eating. What would you say the odds of survival are in our current climate? The day today is great and the next two look decent as well.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Slide a bar on the edge of the cluster a little apart if you have a little space above. Dry below with a little sprinkle to get it set will work as well. It all depends on how long you need to stall. I would not worry about syrup in the short term. I would use it (probably 5/3), but I am just guessing how long to forage.
    Bees with brood will not travel off the brood to get feed if it gets cold. when they starve with honey on the next frame. That is my concern with early bees, sub and syrup.
    Yes, 30's and forties to install does work. Some Italians will fly at 41, 42. Others 46 or so. Bare frames is tough. If I had to do TBH again without comb and with early bees it would be in a TBH nuc of some kind, at least for those first few frames to get drawn. Even cardboard followers would help. Later would have been better, if possible. Straight ahead now.
    Switching to carnis makes sense, just not now.
    Hi Saltybee,

    What should I sprinkle? And I do have a follower board and they're really flying and buzzing, they went from what I thought was 1/2 dead to 1/5 or even 1/6 dead. I'm still heating the hive and plan to do so for a few weeks (until some comb is built). Could you explain how I can get comb started a bit more?

    Thanks

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Baden Wurtemburg Germany
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Have I got this right,
    They have enough syrup and sub for 10 days or so.
    They are warm, blanket and heater.
    They have free access 24/7
    the weather looks good for a few days.

    You have done well, in fact there is not much more you can do. Now they need warmth, food and peace and quiet to build comb. You might consider a hands off approach until you see pollen coming in, if available in your area. Every time the hive is opened valuable heat is lost and they need high temps to build comb. No comb, no brood and the colony will die.

    Keep them fed and warm
    Good luck

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Vancity, Stephenbird says it well. You have saved them. Just do not try to push them ahead of the weather, too much help can do that. When the natural stuff starts coming in they will take it from there.

    Sprinkle with a little water, just enogh to make it a little crusty it starts them on it and keeps them from carrying it out. Mister works best, sugar water in a mister will keep them calm when working.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 03-03-2013 at 04:41 PM. Reason: missed question

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Island county, Washington, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    I agree too. Stephenpbird's post is spot on!

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Quote Originally Posted by vancity View Post
    Delta Bay your advice so far has been great, yup I got the package from Bob really nice guy. What do you think the odds of survival are for my package? The queen is alive and well, the bees are flying and relieving themselves. Now that they've relieved them selves I think they'll start eating. What would you say the odds of survival are in our current climate? The day today is great and the next two look decent as well.
    If they are taking their feed very good, they should do just fine. They should be taking about 1 1/2 to 2 liters per week once they get a little comb built. Seeing that they came as 2 lbs of bees 1 1/2 liters is a reasonable amount but they will need to build comb for some storage area first. Once they have built some comb they will start to take more syrup as of now their bellies are full and will have to process it into wax. The key is that they always have easy access to warm feed and that they are taking it.

    Are you sure it was the queen you saw and not a drone? It's unusual that the queen would leave the hive for a fly about.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Alright guys so far so good. Hive is at a constant temperature of 25c, again we had great weather today and the bees were fly about. I haven't opened the hive so I have no idea if they're taking syrup nor have I checked the pollen patty. But their is 750mL of syrup, so it should last till Friday, and if they're is good weather Friday I'll check on the status of the feeder. That's about it for now, I'll post an update on Friday.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    No it wasn't a drone it had a massive red dot marker. I've set the temperature of my heater to 25c, should I increase it to 32c because average hive temp should be 34.5c or should I not? I don't have to open the hive to adjust temp the heating controller is outside the hive.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    When will there be any bloom and natural pollen? Most home made pollen sub works in the short term only. The more complete the sub the longer you should be able to keep them going before bloom.

    They generate their own heat. I would not go to 34 as they may then need to cool. You are already giving them summer temps. Brood needs moisture to survive, the more you heat, the dryer the air. Definitely warm enough for comb building already.

    Indoor over wintering temp is usually set at 5 for established hives.

    You have one hive, I would not try to mess with them too much this first time.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 03-05-2013 at 08:22 AM.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Got my package in February 28 2013, check my hive today not good. Please help.

    Hi,
    I had a same situation. I had a live queen but a cup full of bees left. I started feeding them in to the hive with nectar gold and natural dried cane juice instead of processed sugar. The hive is now doing incredibly. Once they have a good supply of food, they can generate heat and survive. Hope you can save them. Good Luck.

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