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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default deadhives update

    well today was the first day I went in. We hit 50 above finally. thats a 70 degree increase in less than 48 hours!

    I went into the weak hive first. it looks like they never moved from their original cluster and died right there.

    strong hive did somewhat better. They did still die but the best I can tell they starved to death. They started strong both hives started at the front of the hive. This hive worked its way to the rear within the first 3"es or so from the top of the bar, plenty of stores below them. The queen was on the 2nd to last frame. A bunch made it into the feeder on the other end that was full of dry sugar, they burrowed down oh 1/3rd of the way. I saw them come out the end of january so I know they made it that long or slightly longer. The vent I had was right before the frame feeder full of sugar.

    That hive had a TON of water in it! I had the entrance choked down to 1/2 x 1/2" and had the cover (strip of ply wood) over the the frame feeder wedged up 1/4" or so of the starved out hive...the other hive I was able to get completely through.

    both were in golden mean hives. I'm contemplating swapping to warre's but doubt I can get them done before the bees arrive this year if I keep going at this. Its hard to justify killing off every year at 150+ per hive per year.

    I'll try and post pics tomorrow....the starved out hive I couldnt get in too deep, broke off a few frames, still too much ice on the one side of the hive opposite the window. I did pull 4 or so bars out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Frame feder full of sugar? They need to be fed up to winter weight,before the cold sets in. That could mean 5 gallons of 2:1 syrup long before winter rolls in.

    Jean-Marc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinal, AZ, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Dan this is the video I was taking about in the chat room. Hope it gives you an idea what I was talking about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XPEpdyR_PQ

    Edit: Here is another vid that has some decent views of the outside of the bee house.

    Edit 2: fixed linky

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU0u...xXDbHA&index=5
    Last edited by sergie; 03-30-2013 at 02:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Jean,

    The hive was full of honey. I took nothing from either last fall. I had read somewhere (dont ask I cant remember lol), that filling my frame feeder with dry sugar would help with moisture in the hive acting as an absorbant. I'm surpised at the amount of moisture this hive had, it was vented I thought TOO much.

    Sergie, thanks! That 2nd video is a biking video? admittedly I didnt watch it all LOL!

    I will try and get the pics downloaded today. Have a few projects I need to get going.

    Oh I did notice my 'honey' is really thin?!?!?! I took the combs and tried busting the up last night, they were a bit stiff yet so I let them sit in a aluminum bowl to warm up. This morning the top couple inches was almost watery. I'm wondering if its not water from when I was feeding sugar water?
    Last edited by AkDan; 03-30-2013 at 01:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pinal, AZ, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Lol vid went to next in list. fixed the linky sorry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: deadhives update

    I'm really sorry to learn your hives didn't make it. (Mine didn't either.) I hope you stay with it! We have learned a lot so hopefully we can use that to make a better outcome next year.

    My replacement package is coming next weekend. I only ordered one, hoping that one would make it or I could bait in a swarm for the other hive. If I don't manage to catch a swarm I will hopefully be able to split them by mid June.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: deadhives update

    curious why yours died? I'm clueless on one hive...they never moved once they got into their winter cluster.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: deadhives update

    I think a lot of things played into it. Above all that it was my first year so I was learning the whole time and may have hesitated instead of acting. The main hive (Italian requeened Carniolan) froze due to starvation, the nuc started hive was weak due to pest attack and wasn't able to build up enough, they ended up losing their queen and dying/dwindling out.

    We had a really bad year weather-wise last year. A major drought and heatwave. My package got started late, and we had an early spring so they missed the main pollen and nectar flows. I stopped feeding a few weeks after installation because they stopped taking the syrup but now think I should have started to feed again when the heatwave/drought got bad. I meant to requeen because the queen wasn't a strong layer but the queen I ordered never came. The Italian queen shut down laying due to the heat and by time I gave up on the ordered queen and bought a Carniolan queen at the end of August it was fairly late for her to turn it around. I started feeding them, including pollen patty then but they just didn't get enough stored to make it. I realized they were low so I added a bar with candy but when a cold snap hit in mid to late February they must not have been able to get enough food and froze. They were right next to the candy but they had four bars of bees clustered so only an eighth of them were in contact with the food. There was some brood on the third bar from the food, the queen was in the middle of the cluster. There was one cell of honey left in the hive. It was a really sad and needless loss.

    The nuc started hive (got at the end of August) was weak to start and came with small hive beetles and wax worms. The bees and I fought the pests and looked to have won but I had a really hard time feeding this hive pollen because the SHB would get right into it. They needed the pollen because there wasn't any coming in due to the drought. I fed syrup but without the extra pollen they didn't build up a big cluster. The cluster also never moved. I postulate the queen froze and they dwindled because they still had some honey left but no brood. I had also put a candy bar in this hive next to the cluster because they wouldn't move. There were a few bees still living when I opened the hive early March but they were doomed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: deadhives update

    I fed the weaker hive all year, the strong hive i stopped mid summer. I kind of wonder if that might have been in part as to why that weak hive never moved once it clustered up....too much moisture internally. lots of questions very very few answers!

    I'm going to hive one of the tbh's this summer....we'll see if I can come up with a way to overwinter them, I'll be suprised if it works. Starting a warre here this evening. Time to make sawdust again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Casper, Wyoming
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Where your packages coming out of that u get in North Pole?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Quote Originally Posted by AkDan View Post
    I fed the weaker hive all year, the strong hive i stopped mid summer. I kind of wonder if that might have been in part as to why that weak hive never moved once it clustered up....too much moisture internally. lots of questions very very few answers!

    I'm going to hive one of the tbh's this summer....we'll see if I can come up with a way to overwinter them, I'll be suprised if it works. Starting a warre here this evening. Time to make sawdust again.
    I like a lot of the Warre hive design, just not the leave them totally alone part or adding boxes from the bottom. Adding from the bottom seems too heavy to deal with for me and I really loved inspecting the hives. The quilt box seems like it would solve your water problem. I didn't have too much of a moisture problem but my hive design is different from yours. Did you have top entrances? I moved mine to the top of the side end and I think it helped with venting. It will be really interesting if you run both hive types this year to learn if one does significantly better.

    I read on here about someone getting bees really early and having put a heating pad on the hive to keep it warm enough. It made me think of my plant germination heating pad and also that there are outdoor electric coil heating elements for cold frames ... seems like an inventive person could rig up something using those types of things to keep a home located hive at the optimal 40 winter temperature. I'm not going to bother with how our winters are here, I just plan to use thicker wood if I ever build another hive so that the wood insulates a bit better but I thought it was worth mentioning to you. The other thing is on the equipment forum a while back someone talked about a Slovenian type hive which goes into a hive house. Looking at that might give you some ideas.

    Keep us posted!

    I put some swarm lure in my hives yesterday, hopefully I will get lucky and it will convince one to take up residence!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: deadhives update

    I believe my bees came from Cali with Russian-carni queens. He's to my knowledge the only local selling. There's another fella (or was) in anchorage. I don't know much about him or where his bees are coming from.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: deadhives update

    So does no posts for nearly a year mean you are not around anymore, or just a dead thread? I have designed a heater that goes directly inside the hive and in fact my bees decided that it must go directly inside the cluster! My brother and I have been testing this design for the last 2 years with very encouraging results. If you are still keeping bees, perhaps we can experiment together to see if my design could help your situation. Chris_Nelson123 approached me in my welcome thread about possible help with Alaska wintering. I'm anxious to try. If we can improve your situation, we can help with just about any similar climate. Are you still keeping bees?
    Workingtosavetheworld1beeatatime:-)~ Researching winter loss prevention- 12 yrs, 2 recent - 10 Hives, WARMBEES.COM

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: deadhives update

    I built some warre's and moved away from tbh's. I'm still around, but mostly on the chat, not the forums.

    I cant help with over wintering..my success rate is 0.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: deadhives update

    Thanks Dan, glad to make contact and looking forward to work with you on a solution.
    Workingtosavetheworld1beeatatime:-)~ Researching winter loss prevention- 12 yrs, 2 recent - 10 Hives, WARMBEES.COM

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